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)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Newsletter feature and online haiku, tanka, haibun courses 2018 and into the New Year of 2019 including Skype one to ones that are becoming popular


We are, we are! Now into our final session with this new course and it's produced some fascinating insights that have proved invaluable!

The Spectrum of Haiku and Senryu is going to be an interesting exploration of how and where and why and when we write, and how both of these genres can impact on each other in a good way:

New feature!
Karen has put up special Paypal buttons for convenience for anyone wishing an hour or two hours of one to one correspondence that can be either email correspondence, Skype sessions, or a mix of the two!

Newsletter & other things!

Karen is working behind the scenes of the Call of the Page website, on a lot of exciting features. If you'd like to be notified when something exciting has just appeared, we've now added a newsletter feature for you to sign up, if you so desire!

jackdaws©Alan Summers 2018
Newsletter sign up:

Skype plus courses!

We will also be running tanka and haibun courses and making announcements of other events too. For one to one Skype calls proving more and more popular, you can contact us for more information too. 

Look forward to hearing from you!

To hear back from Karen, email:

About Alan & Karen:

Forthcoming Haiku Courses

click onto

photograph July 2018 bright sunlight bouncing off a mute swan, River Avon, Chippenham©Alan Summers

We currently have the following haiku courses scheduled:

- The Spectrum of Haiku and Senryu starting Thursday September 6th 2018:

There are some difficult questions in the universe. 

One of them is sometimes "Is this poem a haiku or a senryu?" 

Despite clear intended differences in the form it can sometimes seem impossible to nail down.

The answer perhaps is that there is a spectrum of haiku and senryu. In this course we'll attempt to write intentionally at "both ends of the spectrum", and at points along it, with an awareness of where we are between the genres.

Participants receive introductory materials at the start of the course, and are asked to submit two poems (a haiku and a senryu) in three sessions over two months (total six poems). 

Detailed feedback will be given by the tutor on the poem itself, and on the extent to which it presents as either a haiku or a senryu.
The course operates by email, with participants reading Alan's commentary on each others' poems as well as their own in a group learning process.

Full Cost: £95 (approximately US$121)

Early Bird Rate: £85 (approximately US$109) if booking by Thursday August 30th 2018.

Apart from the cost savings of booking early, please note, our class sizes are small and often fill out a day or so before the early bird rate closes. Thank you!

The Paypal button is on the web page:

Forthcoming courses:
- Introducing... Haiku!, starting Thursday January 3rd 2019.
- The Sound of Haiku, starting Thursday January 10th 2019.
Booking for these courses opens shortly!

For details on how to enrol and book a place, and for the Paypal button:

We will also be running tanka and haibun courses and making announcements of other events too.

For one to one Skype calls proving more and more popular, you can contact us for more information too. 

Look forward to hearing from you!

To hear back from Karen, email:

About Alan & Karen:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

What is "senryu" again? Commentary and results of two senryu competitions - the sibling genre of haiku

manga portrait & text©Alan Summers

Not one, but two senryu competitions!  

As President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society I made a short commentary on the first placed verse, and as the Sonic Boom judge for senryu, scroll further down, I was able to write up a report on all the placed/winning senryu entries.

Intrigued by senryu? Karen is working hard on a number of online courses including one on senryu. Please check regularly for updates here: 

The two web links to the contests!

(July 2018)

Please visit the wonderful publication of Sonic Boom in general too!


The “AHA” Haiku/Senryu Contest (Annual Hortensia Anderson Memorial Awards) Results
(June 2018):

As President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, I added a commentary on the first placed verse, in addition to the wonderful comments by Debbi Strange.

Here’s my President’s commentary:
The “AHA” Haiku/Senryu Contest (Annual Hortensia Anderson Memorial Awards) Results
Alan Summers
President, United Haiku and Tanka Society

What is a senryu?  
There is always an exciting and ongoing debate about that, and whether it is even a separate genre. I certainly see the senryu approach as a useful reminder that, as beautiful as haiku can be, we often need a short sharp verse that highlights aspects, and can act as checks and balances within our current society. 

I wish I could add commentaries to all the wonderful poems, thank goodness Debbie has done that for us. I can certainly empathise with this senryu by Jay Friedenberg, that stayed with the judges. The idea of working out all the numbers and ramifications of those who have died since humans entered this world must be unimaginable, whether by natural causes or other means. 

Leopold Kronecker (1823 – 1891) said: 
“God made the integers; all else is the work of man.” 

And those integers are part of the mathematics we may have learnt in school. Natural numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4,… where we simply add 1 to the previous number to get more, and more. We do use the zero symbol as a placeholder, “10” for example, as well as in the millions, and billions. If we accept “nothing” can be like a number, it’s possible to go even further. The concept appears in our regular lives, such as when you spend more money than you have, so our financial balance is negative, less than 0. Unfortunately we can’t see these negative numbers, but we can do calculations with them. So if we have real numbers, what are irrational numbers? They are those numbers which can’t be written as fractions. 

Yet in war, that is often the case, with the chilling example of the Deadly Blue Pencil when documents were manually cut and pasted, and a blue pencil chosen as it was not visible when finally photographed. At a meeting with Winston Churchill, the British prime minister, he watched as Stalin take out his blue pencil to make a large tick approving a “percentages agreement” for the division of Europe after the war, at an untold cost to human life, even after the war.

So Jay Friedenberg’s extraordinary senryu immediately reminded me of this (in)famous haiku:


war dead 
exit out of a blue mathematics

     -- Sugimura Seirinshi (trans. Richard Gilbert and Itō Yūki)

When I read Debbie Strange’s commentary again, I get even more chills down my body.  

But not all senryu are required to be as potentially unnerving as the almost casual approach to statistics, as above, in and out of war, and peacetime. In fact the remaining senryu and haiku are just as powerful, and just as important, in their own ways. 

I am so incredibly grateful for all the entries, whether ‘placed’ or not.

The full report can be read here:
Judges: Grant Savage and Debbie Strange
Commentary: Debbie Strange