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)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year - and a brand new honour! Alan Summers, President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society

United Haiku and Tanka Society weblink:

More details about the UHTS:

For those who know me, or have yet to meet me in person or online, here is my longer biography:

Alan Summers, Chippenham, England, U.K. has been involved in haikai literature (haiku; senryu; haibun; renku; haiga and shahai), and tanka, for over a quarter of a century.  He is a double Japan Times award-winning writer; recipient of a Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku (1998); and a Pushcart Prize nominated poet.  

In September 2015 he was filmed by NHK TV of Japan for Europe meets Japan - Alan's Haiku Journey:

He also holds a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University (U.K.), and a Diploma for Creative Writing from the University of Bristol (U.K.)

See also Alan’s December 2016 interview with Sonic Boom magazine talking about his background; “the stiletto of poetry”; and the white paintings of haiku:

From 1998 to 2000, he was General Secretary of the British Haiku Society, and from 2000-2005 he was on the panel of editors for The Red Moon Anthologies of English-Language Haiku. He has been an editor for a number of groundbreaking online haikai literature magazines: This includes being a founding editor for Haijinx (humor in haiku), and a founding editor, and now editor emeritus, of Bones Journal.  He was Linked Verses Editor for Notes from the Gean, and has been the Special Feature Editor for the award-winning Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts.

Alan Summers has been an essayist, article writer, critic, international competition judge, as well as co-editor of a number of haiku and short verse anthologies. 

His time as a TEDx speaker for Amazement of the ordinary- life through a haiku lens can be watched here:

Various essays and articles include:

Haiku: The Art of Implication over Explication

More than One Fold in the Paper: Kire, kigo and the meaning of vertical axis by Alan Summers (New Zealand Poetry Society, April 2016) accessible via: 

575haiku - Traditional Haiku as three lines and in a 5-7-5 English language syllables pattern

Travelling the single line of haiku:

The Reader as Second Verse

Black dogs and afternoon rain:

Themocracy: The Themocrats and their Concept Albums
Four book reviews by Alan Summers of writers who weave theme:

The Golden Carousel of Life:  Senryu, An Application to be a) human
Failed Haiku, A Journal of English Senryu

He has been a mentor for over two decades, and runs the With Words online courses in haiku and related genres.  From 2017 he will be involved in the Call of the Page online courses; day workshops; one-to-one and residential courses; as well as taking haiku to the road.

He has regularly been involved in both traditional  and innovative readings; haiku and renga residencies; as well as edgy live events. 

For example, as attraction host & organiser at the Royal Festival Hall, in London’s Southbank, with Japan-UK 150, in September 2008, as part of the Giant Japanese Jamboree at the Mayor’s Thames Festival - which attracts around half a million visitors - in September 2008, running multiple one-to-one workshops while launching the With Words Haiku Journal notebooks. 

As the Embassy of Japan’s roving Haiku & Renga poet-in-residence for Japan-UK 150 throughout 2009 he also ran various related activities from train stations to other public spaces.  This included improvisational renga for The Fragmented Orchestra at the Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, with the passing public outside on the street (February 2009) and running two senku (1000 verse renga events) in two different cities from the South to the North of England:

In partnership with Bath Libraries (South West England, U.K.) for The 1000 Verse Renga Project (September to November 2009) becoming part of the BBC Poetry Season; followed by a triple senku renga In partnership with Hull Libraries U.K. along with The James Reckitt Library Trust and Larkin25 Festival.

In other years he has been Poet-in-Residence in various places such as at Bath Spa University (Autumn 2006 – Summer 2007) where he was involved with a number of haiku & renga workshops hired by ambidextrous, a new organisation being developed as part of a BA program for freshers.   Other activities were The 24 hour haiku answerphone and The POW Festival with haiku walls, along with another student society called Play on Words Productions, with videos made by Ambidextrous and Soft C, to encourage current and future Bath Spa University students.

He was also jointly a haiku poet-in-Residence creating Britain’s only haiku café as mentioned in the Lonely Planet's Guide to Great Britain (Spring 2006 – Autumn 2006) which also involved a ginko for deaf poets, and haiku, tanka, and renga workshops and theatre performances with the Deaf Community. Other live events have included Antony Gormley’s One & Other Fourth Plinth event in conjunction with SkyArts in Trafalgar Square, London, (July 2009).

Alan has often been involved in public art from hanging thousands of haiku on trees and bushes and along streets to having verses cut into linocuts; laser cut onto DuPont™ Corian®; or into CorTen steel along the London Road into the City of Bath: 

He has twice been a featured haiku poet at Cornell University, Mann Library, USA, and been the World Monuments Fund (New York City) haiku contest judge; Guest Judge for The International Academic Forum Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2016 and many other competitions. 

Other organisations that have offered his teaching are as Visiting Tutor for the British nationally acclaimed The Poetry School (Spring 2007 & 2008); and a regular Teaching artist at the Poetry Barn based in the Hudson Valley, just outside New York City USA.

Alan will also be running the Call of the Page online classes with his wife Karen Hoy throughout 2017, including the popular intermediate haiku course group courses, plus tanka; haibun; tanka prose/tanka story group courses; and one-to-one individual feedback in various related genres. 

"Astonishingly moving haiku" 
YOMIURI SHIMBUN (Japan) January 2005

"Widely known haiku dry as vintage champagne"
YOMIURI SHIMBUN (14 million readers in Japan) 
16th September 2002 (planned for publication on my birthday) 

His work has regularly appeared in over one hundred anthologies including leading ones around the haiku genre:

Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years ed. Jim Kacian, Allan Burns & Philip Rowland 
(W. W. Norton 2013)
The New English Verse: An International Anthology of Poetry ed. Suzie Palmer (Cyberwit 2017)
Haiku 2014; Haiku 2015; and Haiku 2016 ed. Scott Metz & Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press)
The Disjunctive Dragonfly, a New Approach to English-Language Haiku ed. Richard Gilbert
(Red Moon Press 2012)
A Vast Sky, An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku ed. by Bruce Ross; Koko Kato; Dietmar Tauchner; and Patricia Prime (Tancho Press 2015)
Journeys 2015 - An Anthology of International Haibun 
ed. Dr Angelee Deodhar
naad anunaad: an anthology of contemporary international haiku 
ed. Shloka Shankar, Sanjuktaa Asopa, Kala Ramesh (India, 2016)
The Humours of Haiku ed. David Cobb (Iron Press 2012)
Stepping Stones:  a way into haiku ed. Martin Lucas (British Haiku Society, 2007)
The New Haiku 
ed. John Barlow & Martin Lucas (Snapshot Press, 2001).
Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku 
ed. John Barlow & Matthew Paul (2008)
Iron Book of British Haiku 
ed. David Cobb and Martin Lucas (Iron Press 1998, Third print 2000)
Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac 
ed. William Higginson  (Kodansha International, Japan,1996)

As 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 published by Press Here ISBN 978-1-878798-31-2  (2010 USA); Four Virtual Haiku Poets (YTBN Press 2012); and c.2.2. an anthology of short-verse poetry and haiku (YTBN Press 2013).

Four haiku collections: Does Fish-God Know (YTBN Press 2012); The In-Between Season (With Words Pamphlet Series 2012); Sundog Haiku Journal: an Australian Year (Sunfast Press 1997 reprinted 1998); Moonlighting British Haiku Society Pamphlet (1996).

His latest book Writing Poetry: The Haiku Way is due out in 2017.

“I am incredibly excited and greatly honored to have been asked as the next President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society. I certainly want to embrace and encourage the society to continue to grow and develop its inclusive welcomeness to poets all around the world.”

Alan Summers

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