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)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Alan Summers in an interview about teaching haiku in schools, the general public enjoying haiku, going on the road during Presidential elections, and universities

Haiku News Interviews
Episode 1: Alan Summers

Interview by Laurence Stacey

We are pleased to present the Haiku News Interview Series. This project will feature monthly interviews with some of the most insightful poets in the haikai community.

The purpose of this project is to chronicle how haikai poets are using their work to engage sociopolitical issues.


Alan Summers is among the most visible poets in the haikai community. Published worldwide, his poetry has been translated into 15 languages, including part of the first Sign Language Renga.

As much a teacher as he is a poet, Alan has been involved in over 100 haikai workshops. He is also the founder of With Words, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literature through workshops and annual events. Alan's work in both the literature community and general public is ensuring that haikai will be appreciated by future generations.

Haiku News is an organisation that publishes authentic haiku that cover the news in an intelligent, engaging, and inclusive atmosphere.


One of the central structures of haiku is the juxtaposition of one “image” (taking up one-line) with another “image” (taking up two-lines). From these two elements meaning is created between the two images, in the spaces between words, in what is not said rather than what is said.

Haiku poetry relies on the reader to contemplate the two images and “unfold” them, rather than simply “read” them.

Because the haiku often relies on juxtaposition there are usually a multiplicity of potential meanings which could be taken from the poem, and the reader plays a part in creating their own “meaning” from the poem.

A good haiku will make the reader a poet, while still relating a deeply private and personal experience.

Haiku by Alan Summers that appear in Haiku News

the names of rain
a blackbird’s subsong
into dusk

rain on the river–
when does white become
its darkest colour

zombie debt–
the practised slice
of a bread knife

long grass nights star systems in the Big Dipper
[one-line haiku]

Laurence Stacey is a 26 year old college student from Powder Springs, Georgia USA. In his spare time, he is an avid student of the martial arts. Laurence is interested in promoting haiku as a teaching medium in grade schools and universities.

Haiku News Anthology
edited by Dick Whyte and Laurence Stacey 
"Since its inception in 2009, Dick Whyte and Laurence Stacey's Haiku News – the newspaper written in the Japanese poetic form of haiku – has continued to promote the idea that ''the personal is the political is the poetical'', allowing writers to share their personal reflections on noteworthy news items, presenting the current political climate in a new, often very personal light. And it is certainly no arena for cheap attempts at word-game haiku. This is a very serious literary journal that documents our times in the short form poetry of writers across the globe. Indeed, the poems that have graced the pages of this unique newspaper since 2009 have, with and without the stories that inspired them, presented some staggeringly exquisite and moving moments of micropoetry."
- Liam Wilkinson from "Introduction to Haiku News"

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