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, March 13, 2013

HAIKU - the holistic approach : The Week-end Residential Haiku Course with Alan Summers ( writing poetry course Lingfield )

The course has been filling up really nicely at Claridge House in Surrey!

There's space for a few more cool people to come though!

Find out how haiku can do so much more for you than you know.  

If you haven't heard of haiku before, or just a little bit, don't worry, beginners take to haiku like a duck likes water! 

At the end of the post I've given some of my background as an experienced haiku poet and teacher for over 20 years.

You can phone up Claridge House to ask about the course, and they'll have an info sheet I designed for them, so they can answer your questions about haiku:  

0845 345 7281 
01342 832 150 

Claridge House
Dormans Road, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6QH
Registered Charity no. 228102.

Tel. 0845 345 7281 or 01342 832 150

HAIKU - the holistic approach

The Week-end Residential Haiku Course
with Alan Summers

Friday to Sunday April 5th - 7th 2013

A friendly inclusive course to find out what makes a haiku poem.

Further down there's a schedule so you can see how many lovely breaks we have with food, tea and cake and much much more, and that a lot is packed into the course too.

Testimonials from people on the courses I've run before:

“Thought provoking, interesting and informative”
Caroline P

“Superb – absorbing from start to finish”
Jess C

“A creative, engaging and stimulating workshop – an absolute delight”
Julie W

We’ll look at how our experiences, both external and spiritual, can become haiku, and act as important records of our life.

There are lots of breaks, plenty of yummy cake and biscuits, including non-gluten and non-dairy, a wide choice of hot and cold drinks with tea and coffee and non-caffeine versions.  The meals are incredible too!

Enjoy this short introduction of how haiku can enrich our lives, and all it need take is six seconds of our daily lives:

Amazement of the Ordinary: Life through a haiku lens
"We see things not as they are, but as we are."


Audio interview:

Alongside learning about haiku, we'll also have a go at a new type of short poetry derived from Chinese puzzle-poems for fun.  Then we'll finish the course with the ever popular linked group verse renga as a memento of our weekend.

This weekend course will be held at Claridge House, a Victorian building with disabled access set in two acres of gardens in the Surrey countryside.

Your room will be available from 3pm on Friday with tea and cake served at 4.00.

The course will start after Supper which is at 6.30pm. The course ends with a fantastic lunch on Sunday!

Meals are vegetarian, based on organic produce. Vegan and certain other diets can be catered for with advance notice.  Let them know at the house when you book the course.

Under the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, we have achieved the maximum score of 5 - 'Very Good'
This demonstrates a 'very high standard of food safety management and compliance with food hygiene legislation'.

Cost £190 per person
non residential option £109 for course and meals

Booking: 0845 345 7281 or 01342 832 150


Finding Claridge House:

Claridge House, Dormans Road, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6QH
Registered Charity no. 228102.
0845 345 7281 or 01342 832 150

Previous courses at Claridge house:
The very first course:


Arrivals are incredibly well organised, so anyone requesting a pick up from the train station (minutes away by car) when booking, will be picked up promptly and enjoy an amazing spread of cakes and biscuits, teas, coffees, other hot drinks, and cold drinks from 4pm. Yummy!


3.00p.m. onwards      Arrivals
4.00                           Tea and Cake

4.45 – 5.00                House Quiet Time  (Attendance optional)

6.30                           Evening Meal

7.45 – 9.00                Session I

I will be available for questions throughout the first day (Friday), and the first session will be a gentle immersion into haiku.


8.45                     Breakfast

9.45 – 10.00        House Quiet Time  (Attendance optional)

10.00 – 11.15       Session II

11.15 – 11.45       Coffee

11.45 – 12.45       Session III

1.00                      Lunch

2.00 – 4.00           Free Time

4.00                      Tea and Cake

4.45 – 5.00           House Quiet Time  (Attendance optional)

5.00 – 6.15           Session IV

6.30                      Evening Meal

7.45 – 9.15           Session V

Saturday has so many refreshments inbetween our sessions, plus free time to go walking or resting, that we will absorb a lot about haiku plus be in a very relaxed and inclusive atmosphere.   Humour is not obligatory although I do enjoy the atmosphere it creates and it does enhance learning and enjoyment.    

I will be available for any one-to-one sessions if anyone wishes to go over their haiku in private, either during one of our sessions, while the others are workshopping exercises, or outside the sessions, if that's preferable.   


8.45                       Breakfast

9.45 – 10.45          House Quiet Time  (Attendance optional)

10.45                    Coffee

11.15 – 12.45       Session VI

1.00                      Lunch

2.00                      Departures

The final session will be a rapid fire group poem called renga which creates a fantastic souvenir of the weekend to take away with you.   Included is a free complimentary Haiku Journal Notebook to record your verses.

 We have a lot of humour involved with the renga sessions which has now become traditional, and you'll be surprised who will be the culprits, but it's a highlight of the now regular Claridge House renga session.

Departures are incredibly well organised, and as the train station is just a few minutes away by car, there is never a worry that someone would miss a train connection who needs a lift to the station by a Claridge House driver.

The lunch will be incredible!      

Alan Summers: Bio

Alan is Director/Lead Tutor of With Words, an international provider of literature, education and literacy projects, and With Words online workshops based around the Japanese genres.

He has been an expert on English-langauge haiku (and other Haikai Literature) for 21 years. Alan is a Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) for both haiku and renku, and the Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku (1998).

Alan is a Teaching Artist at the USA-based Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative for Haiku and Tanka (course just concluded) and Haibun (later in 2013):

Alan is currently the haiku poet-in-residence for Cornell University, Mann Library:

He is a TEDx Speaker: Amazement of the ordinary- life through a haiku lens:

Alan was also invited to give a talk at Haiku News:

He is a founding editor for Bones Journal (contemporary haiku):,  and Haiku/Haibun Editor, Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts:

Alan has been:
•    General Secretary of the British Haiku Society (1998-2000)
•    Panel of Judges: The Biennial Sasakawa Prize for Original Contributions in the Field of Haikai (Sasakawa Foundation U.K. and British Haiku Society)
•    Embassy of Japan, (2009) Roving “Japan-UK 150 Haiku & Renga Poet-in-Residence”
•    Co-ordinator of The 1000 Verse Renga Project in partnership with Bath Libraries (U.K.) and supported by the BBC Poetry Season website
•    Bath Spa University undergraduate development project Haiku poet-in-residence (Autumn 2006 - Summer 2007)
•    Panel of Editors for the award-winning annual Red Moon Anthologies for best haikai literature (2000-2005)
•    Foundation Member of the Australian Haiku Society
•    a founding editor with Haijinx, showcasing humor in haiku
•    Renga/Renku/Linked Forms Editor, Notes from the Gean
•    moderator of the Shiki-temp list for Matsuyama University, Japan
•    currently co-moderator on the British Haiku Society Members Forum

He was also co-founder/co-organizer, and Literature Director, of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival.

Alan is published in over 75 haiku anthologies; and published in over fifteen languages including Japanese, and British Sign Language.

Japanese newspaper publications:
Yomiuri Shimbun; Asahi Shimbun; Mainichi Shimbun; The Japan Times; and The Mie Times.

"Astonishingly moving haiku"

YOMIURI SHIMBUN (Japan) January 2005

"Widely known haiku dry as vintage champagne"
YOMIURI SHIMBUN (14 million readers in Japan) September 2002

Anthologies include various leading haiku anthologies and a new Norton poetry anthology on haiku: Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years ed. Jim Kacian, Allan Burns & Philip Rowland with an Introduction by Billy Collins (W. W. Norton & Company 2013) 

•    ‘Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac’  Kodansha International, Japan,                 ed. William Higginson ISBN 4770020902 (1996)

•    Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press; ISBN: 0906228670 First published 1998, Third print 2000)
•    Stepping Stones:  a way into haiku 
    (British Haiku Society, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9522397-9-6)
•    The Humours of Haiku (Iron Press 2012) ISBN 978-0-9565725-4-7

Co-Editor of five Haiku-based Anthologies:
•    Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints ISBN: 09539234-2-8 (Poetry Can/Bristol Museum and Art Gallery/Japan21/Embassy of Japan 2002)

•    The Poetic Image - Haiku and Photography (Birmingham Words/National Academy of Writing Pamphlet 2006)
•    Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends (Press Here 2010 USA) ISBN 978-1-878798-31-2
•    Four Virtual Haiku Poets (YTBN Press 2012) ISBN-10: 1478307544 ISBN-13: 978-1478307549
•    c.2.2. an anthology of short-verse poetry and haiku (YTBN Press 2013) ISBN-10: 1479304565 ISBN-13: 978-1479304561

Four Haiku Collections:
•    “Does Fish-God Know” (YTBN Press 2012)

“A must-have book for any haiku fan.”
Tracey Kelly, Chicago/Bath musician/journalist

“Thank you for writing such a vital work.”
Paul David Mena, author of Tenement Landscapes (New York) published by Happa-no-Kofu (The Leaf-Miner Press) just after September 11 2001

•    “The In-Between Season” With Words Pamphlet Series (2012)
•    “Sundog Haiku Journal: an Australian Year” (Sunfast Press 1997 reprinted 1998) California State Library - Main Catalog Call Number: HAIKU S852su 1997
•    “Moonlighting” British Haiku Society Intimations Pamphlet Series (1996)


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