Online internet courses by Call of the Page

Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku; tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.

Please email Karen or Alan at our joint email address:
We will let you know more about these courses.

Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 2012 Purely Haiku Writers retreat in glorious surroundings and fantastic food provided all day full board!

Over the years I've met an incredible group of individuals who make this course sing, although there's no singing and besides I have a terrible voice for that artform.

I hope some of you find something in the following course that entices you to help make another great residential course, in a relaxing place, perfect for writing, reading, and listening to haiku.


A unique residential writers' course
and Retreat led by Alan Summers
Monday May 21st - Friday 25th 2012

"I think that's a brilliant price. It's a bargain for what you are offering."

Annie Bachini (former President of the British Haiku Society)

"Alan is able to work with people who have no experience of poetry to encourage them to try it.  He watches and listens with patience and respect and offers guidance that is flexible enough to empower the workshop participants but firm enough to support them."

Rachel Sutton-Spence
School of Applied Community and Health Studies
Centre for Personal and Professional Development

A course designed both for the beginner who would like to tackle something new; the intermediate who wants to go further into the subject; and the advanced writer who needs time away to solidfy a haiku collection.

This is a gentle and friendly immersive course where we study what makes a haiku tick, and how to read and write haiku poetry. We'll read Classic and Contemporary haiku examples from Japan and other countries.  We'll learn that our own experiences become haiku poetry, and act as an important social document and record of our lives.

" I'm here to work hard for you so you can relax and absorb at your own rate."  Alan

We all arrive Monday afternoon to a fabulous spread of tea, coffee, non-caffeine hot drinks, and soft drinks, plus home-made cakes get together.  Let Claridge House know of any allergies and dietary needs, and be assured the non-gluten and/or non-wheat choices are as delicious.

Enjoy a concluding now traditional Thursday evening renga party last event together, concluding with Friday morning's scrumptious final breakfast, and then being whisked away to the station by friendly staff if you need transport to the nearby train station.

Thursday evening is when we run the 12 linking verses renga session with a party atmosphere, that includes a souvenir Haiku Journal Notebook to keep the record of the renga as a great memory of the week.

The Purely Haiku Course Claridge House details:

Course details:


Bursary help is available - enquire on-line or phone for details.

Finding Claridge House:

Claridge House, Surrey
Dormans Road
Surrey RH7 6QH
South East England

(just outside London)

Claridge House enquiries and booking information contact details:
Phone: 01342 832150
Phone: 0845 3457281

The course can be as introductory for you as you like, or as advanced as you'd like on a personal one-to-one basis.

There will be plenty of one-to-one chats and critique time, as well as great group activies and exercises.


The vegetarian and vegan food, covers all dietary needs, non-gluten, non-wheat, non-dairy etc... and is fantastic.

There's plenty of organised tea, coffee, non-caffeine hot drinks, cold drinks, homemade cakes, lots of biscuits including non-gluten and non-wheat provided for us, so we don't even need to lift a finger, it's all brought to us!

Upon request I can touch on, or go deeper into certain haiku subjects:
kigo; kireji; gendai; shasei; juxtaposition and disjunctive methods; and how to make concrete images stand out, and even come across as lyrical in so short a poem, that can also help improve your other writing styles.

We can touch, or go deeper into:

  • Amazement of the ordinary
  • Hearing your voice in poetry
  • Allusion in haiku
  • How the Seasons can still move us
  • Basho: not allowing a hair’s breadth separate yourself from the subject
  • Basho: Meditative landscape and the mood of nature
  • Putting the colour, details, light and shade into your haiku
  • Haiku and how to participate in your landscape
  • The Golden Ratio of Art through Haiku
  • Hemingway's Shoes and Mono no Aware
  • Wabi-Sabi and Haiku
  • The Gentle Whispers of Haiku
  • The Brightness of Balance in Haiku
  • The mysterious MA of haiku and white space in haiku

" I'm here to work hard for you so you can relax and absorb at your own rate."  Alan


Alan Summers, born London, England, is a Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku. He is the Linked Forms Editor of online magazine Notes from the Gean; and a founding editor of online magazine Haijinx,  finding humour in haiku.

Alan was the lead poet and creator, of The 1000 Verse Renga Project in partnership with Bath Libraries (U.K.) and supported by the BBC Poetry Season website. 

He's been General Secretary of the British Haiku Society (1998-2000); served on the Board of Editors for the award-winning Red Moon Anthologies; and is a Life Member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Queensland.

Alan also helped create possibly the World's first ever Sign Language Renga which can be seen on YouTube, and an article was published in the Journal of Renku and Renga (Darlington Richards 2010).

Currently Alan is running the Kigo Lab project exploring British regional seasonal words, phrases and references as a resource for poets of all disciplines including haiku and renga. Kigo Lab is an experiment to use the potential of Western literary and seasonal references for a saijiki (almanac).


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