The blog of Alan Summers, Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) and owner of With Words, a UK provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.
For events and workshops for families, children, and schools contact us through our With Words website: With Words.
Online internet courses by Call of the Page
Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku (beginner and intermediate, and advanced). We also run workshops and courses on tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about these and our other courses.
20ft-high English field maples, six in total, along with two hornbeams.
The hornbeam is known for being extremely hard and is said to symbolise resilience. The English field maple is said represent humility and reserve. It is the favoured wood used for harp making and it is also used to create medieval loving cups.
John Milton, possibly the world’s most accomplished poet:
2 single-line English-language gendai haiku by Alan Summers for NaPoWriMo for Monday and Tuesday April 25th and 26th 2011
corn chaff realising oil as one colour
field of dreams an unborn child's colour isn't rapeseed
It should be our method that we create haiku which match the times. This is not a new idea and was prevalent in the old days; even Sanki Saito wrote about it before the association existed. Sanki believed: "To the difficult question 'what is new?'
I will answer: the new means how the emotions of today's society and people are expressed to fit the times. The haiku must be innovative in any time.
So we should begin and continue to express the emotions of the people of this time and generation."
An incredible collaboration with Hidenori Hiruta and Sarah Jane Robertson through haiku and art has created the opportunity that my haiku have helped in a small way with the disasters that Japan are suffering.
It wouldn't have been possible without Sarah Jane Robertson approaching me, and for Hidenori Hiruta to be so open and ready to help despite being in Japan amongst all the sorrow.
For more of my comments scroll further down, but for now, enjoy the images and the story.
An exhibition and auction of creative work was organised to raise funds for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal, including two of my haiku which were also translated into Japanese by Hidenori Hiruta, and made into beautiful art posters by Sarah Jane Robertson of Creative State.
More than 40 artists from the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Norway and Japan pledged to donate existing work or create new pieces. The artists range from photographers and illustrators to writers, ceramic artists and jewellery designers.
100% of proceeds donated to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.
Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke of the legendary Manchester band The Smiths opened the exhibition.
An initial £4,660 was raised on the night! [scroll down for later larger amount!]
Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State not only kindly created two stunning haiku mandalas for the auction, in collaboration with myself and Hidenori Hiruta, she also continued to sell them via her blog to raise another £400 for the Red Cross. Taking the new total to £5,160!
My profound thanks to Sarah Jane Robertson for contacting me with the suggestion of haiku art to help raise funds.
My deep thanks, respect, and admiration, always, to Hidenori Hiruta (Secretary-General of the Akita International Haiku Network) for creating wonderful translations and being such a supportive colleague, in a time of great need.
Leeds and Edinburgh-based graphic designer, Sarah Jane Robertson created this pair of A3 mandala letterpress prints. Entitled Sunshine & Moonlight, she worked with myself and Hidenori Hiruta, in response to the Earthquake and Tsunami and radiation threats.
Sarah then created the prints in response to the poems and letterpress printed them to give greater depth and definition, adding to the original artwork.
Sarah contacted me with this idea with a very short deadline for both of us. I don't know how Sarah pulled out all the stops to produce artwork and then have it created as a quality poster, but it happened.
Hidenori Hiruta came up with quality translations in a very short time, no easy task, and once Sarah received our work in no time she got a design idea working that could incorporate my haiku and Hidenori's translations.
Thanks to two fabulous sponsors of Sarah's who we thank profusely:
Blush Publishing from North Wales, using traditional printing techniques and vintage printing presses.
GF Smith: a specialty paper merchant from Hull, East Yorkshire going for over 100 years, and no need to say more, than if it's from Hull, it's always going to be special, friendly, and quality all the way. .
Sarah Jane Robertson:
Creative State is the trading name for Creative State Studio Ltd. Registered in England and Wales No. 6557792.
I think that's a brilliant price. It's a bargain for what you are offering. I thought it was going to be much more.
Annie Bachini (past President of the British Haiku Society) .
There may be some of you who think it's not needed to do a whole course on haiku, after all it's only a certain format, very short, and easy to do. Far from it! ;-)
This course has been specifically designed to show you the delightful complexities and challenges of haiku writing.
It's designed to suit your own particular needs and ambitions.
You can start putting a collection together, or have poems that the best haiku magazines will accept, or just enjoy basking in an environment that is relaxing in every way whilst learning something new.
The course is designed to give benefit to both complete beginners and seasoned writers of haiku. Even a highly published friend of mine from Washington State was considering coming over for this course! (Note: this isn't my anthology boss and co-editor but another highly accomplished writer from the same state. See further below in my bio).
The food is exceptional, and ALL fabulous meals and luxurious tea/coffee/other hot drink and cake and biscuit breaks are done by the staff, we don't lift a finger! ;-)
Check our other links on Area 17 to get a further feel of this extraordinary course, .
Alan Summers is a Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku and renku.
He has been a Poetry School Visiting Tutor for haiku, tanka, and renga, as well as appointed as the Japan-UK-150 roving renga poet-in-residence.
Alan is a founding editor for the haijinxhumor in haiku magazine; renku/renga editor for Notes from the Gean haikai literature magazine; and creator of the Bath 1000 Verse Renga, and Hull Global Renga Projects.
Alan will be reading extracts from his forthcoming haiku collection due out in the Summer; as well as from the anthology he co-edited with Washington State haiku writer Michael Dylan Welch.
The first ever Worcestershire Literary Festival : the aim and mission is to raise awareness of the written word, literature and the spoken word in all forms and genres and to provide a fun and educational programme of events that are accessible for all.
Japan Times award-winning writer Alan Summers leads a fun haiku-writing walk with a complementary Haiku Journal notebook: “Nature half-writes the haiku before we’ve even put pen to paper. Become a co-poet with nature.”
There is more than one walk, so please feel free to join in when you'd like a particular walk, or come and go too. I'll always be based at the café when not on one of the walks.