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, August 31, 2021

Blo͞o Outlier Journal issue #3 submission guidelines - nature, wildlife, natural history, wilderness haiku only!


Blo͞o Outlier Journal issue #3 submission window is now open!

photo©Alan Summers

Please see this link for what I am looking for

The new haiku submission email address:

Please send submissions of wildlife/nature/wilderness/natural history haiku to this email address only.

Please don't rush any submissions, take your time.

Submission window open from today:

Saturday 21st August to Monday October 1st 2021

Send up to five (5) haiku

Theme: wildlife, wilderness, natural history

It's also worth looking at the two issues of Muttering Thunder:

Just to warn you that they are big files, but highly worth the wait:

photo©Alan Summers

Make it your own experience, past or present, 

in the wilderness. 

Own that wilderness in your unique way.

Good luck!


Alan Summers
Blo͞o Outlier

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

The Haiku Foundation Librarian’s Cache: Poet of the Month – Alan Summers


Librarian’s Cache: 

Poet of the Month – Alan Summers

by Dan Campbell

I am delighted to be given the honor of being Poet of the Month by The Haiku Foundation.

Last Train Home: an anthology of contemporary haiku, tanka, and rengay


Last Train Home: an anthology of contemporary haiku, tanka, and rengay

Launched on February 26, 2021 by Jacqueline Pearce  (editor) 

LAST TRAIN HOME is an international collection of haiku and related poetry about trains and train travel. Edited by award-winning Canadian poet and children's book author Jacqueline Pearce, the anthology features close to 600 haiku, tanka, rengay, and haiku sequences by 193 poets from 22 different countries.

This is a gorgeously produced book that is not only for fans of trains, stations, and travel by rail, for adventure or romance, or both, but anyone who misses the sheer atmosphere of a train racing through cities and countryside!

Here are a few of Jacquie's newer haiku about trains (lately, they are more about her local transit trains):


heat wave

the night train rumbles

into my wakefulness


Skytrain whine

my thoughts become

white noise


subway tunnel

a waft of warm air

takes me back


And one of Jacquie's own favourite haiku (by her) from the anthology:


warm prairie breeze

the porter plays harmonica

in the open door


Jacquie says:

"I like it because it takes me back to my first long-distance train trip across Canada with my brother in the early 1980s (with our VIA Rail youth passes). We were on a quiet branch line between Calgary and Edmonton that no longer exists, and it felt like we were travelling through the Old West—passing rolling prairie, roaming cattle, a bleached steer skull beside the tracks, the carriage doors left open to the warm September air as we travelled, the lonely sound of the harmonica…."


The photo by Jacqueline Pearce is from a similar part of the country, on a different train trip.

I'm fortunate to have a few of my own haiku in there, here's one:

train station

the heat of the platform

in my blood

Alan Summers

NHK World TV, Japan:

Europe meets Japan - Alan's Haiku Journey (September 2015)

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Haibun and the Blo͞o Outlier Journal Special issue #2, 2021 UPDATE


photograph by Alan Summers

Wearing two hats today!

Call of the Page regularly has one-to-one sessions with poets and their haibun and tanka story:

There are plans afoot to create another group haibun course too, so do keep checking the website:

The Blo͞o Outlier Journal's second issue focuses on the art of combining prose and poetry. Namely the two genres of haibun and tanka story. Although you can surprise us and perhaps come up with a new or different haikai or tanka genre that uses poems with prose!

Blo͞o Outlier Journal Special issue #2, 2021 UPDATE

Friday, January 08, 2021

Introducing... Haiku a friendly immersive course designed by Karen Hoy, with feedback from Alan Summers


Introducing... Haiku


The Winter 2021 course, from January 11th to March 8th, is now fully booked, so we have scheduled the another Introducing... Haiku! 

The course starts at the end of April 2021. The payment button on this weblink is now open for the April course. Thank you!


Start Date: Tuesday 27th April 2021 

End Date: Tuesday 22nd June 2021


Level: This course is designed to be gentle enough for complete beginners (at haiku, or at creative writing), but at the same time stimulating enough to introduce haiku as a new form to those who are already writing poetry or prose. It can also be used as a "warm-up" to our intermediate course. It's also a "back to what we first loved about haiku" for writers who would enjoy a reset. A highly pleasurable course to run, and we trust, take part in!


No of Assignments and Feedback: 3


Group Size:  up to 7. April course now booking.


Course Description: Participants are sent introductory materials on the start date, which will include the first assignment briefing. 

We'll engage with haiku as a reader, using gentle and evocative prose exercises to expand our understanding of what these tiny haiku can do. 

As the course continues, we'll consciously encourage our own senses of observation, and learn to key in to moments and observations that inspire haiku. 

By the third and final assignment (or sooner if you are ready) we'll have built up to writing complete haiku poems. 

There'll be feedback from the tutor on the prose exercises, line exercises, and the complete poems, in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. 

By the end of the course you should have three poems, and an inspiring foundation on which to move forward with your writing. 


Full Cost: £108 (approximately US$146).


Early Bird Rate: £99 (approximately US$134)

Alan Summers is the main online tutor & mentor for Call of the Page relating to haiku, its related genres, and tanka poetry. 

He is also the founding editor of The Blo͞o Outlier Journal, and a Pushcart nominated poet for haiku. As well as being a Japan Times award-winning writer Alan is also both a Pushcart Prize nominated, and Best Small Fictions nominated poet, for haibun.

For more details, and my “provenance” to reveal that I will take great care and diligence, do check out: 

The Blo͞o Outlier Journal Winter Christmas Eve Special Issue 2020 (Issue #1) ed. Alan Summers 

Karen Hoy (Newport, Wales), poet, filmmaker, is Courses Director of Call of the Page. 

Karen has been tanka editor for Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society. 

Her haiku appear in many of the major haiku anthologies including:

Another Country: Haiku Poetry from Wales, Naad Anunaad, A Vast Sky, Wishbone Moon, Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 Days of Haiku for Children Young and Old, Last Train Home, haiku, tanka and rengay. 

Karen's poetry is included in Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press 2017). Other poetry that Karen appears in are: "My Mother Threw Knives" (Second Light Publications 2006) as well as Mslexia.

Karen also appears in ‘Ten Years On’ the Welsh Poetry Competition Anthology 2012-2016.

‘Ten Years On’ is a celebration of the best poetry submitted to the international Welsh Poetry Competition between 2012-2016. A diverse look at the world we inhabit - alive, energetic, melodic, unrepentant and moving. This anthology is for all poets who truly feel. For the brave, the exuberant, the feisty, the outrageous and the rule breakers. A chance to revel in the moment and not be afraid. After 10 successful years and nearly 5,000 entries from all over the world the competition is now firmly established on the international literary calendar. This collection contains some formidable poetry, written by established poets as well as many new voices, all of whom were fearless enough to push back the boundaries. The book also includes the judges’ comments by famous Welsh writers John Evans, Sally Spedding and Eloise Williams. ‘Ten Years On’ is a beautiful collection of bright, modern poetry.

Her documentary and wildlife credits include work for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, and Discovery Channels. 

Karen has also been Highly Commended in the BBC Wildlife Magazine's Nature Writer of the Year competition (2009).

Monday, October 05, 2020

Autumn 2020 haiku, haibun, and monoku group online courses, and Skype one-to-one sessions!

Alan Summers & Karen Hoy

Find out about our January 2021 courses and other ways to stay engaged with haiku and related genres!

Scheduling of our 
autumn/fall course offerings for 2020 is almost complete. 

The following courses have now been scheduled:


 Intermediate Haiku

 (3 session course) starting Thursday 15th October 2020.


 One-Line Haiku 

(5 session course) starting Tuesday 13th October 2020.


• Haibun 2 x 2 

(2 double sessions) starting Monday 19th October 2020.

After feedback from writers (thank you!), this is now a course for shorter haibun, averaging just 200 words.

Do keep checking Call of the Page for updates:

Or email Karen and Alan at:

Skype sessions

We also run regular one-to-one Skype sessions that are very popular:


Aside from the above courses for autumn, Alan continues to be available for individual one to one students via email and/or video call (Skype or Zoom). 

Please contact us for further info, but in the meantime, you can see prices and a basic description of how the one to one sessions operate on our 'special payments' booking page here

Alan Summers is co-founder, and full-time Lead Tutor for haikai-based Call of the Page. A double Japan Times award-winning writer, he was filmed by NHK Television (Japan) for “Europe meets Japan – Alan’s Haiku Journey.” 

He is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet for haiku, and haibun, and Best Small Fictions nominated for haibun. 

Alan is President of the United Haiku & Tanka Society, former General Secretary of the British Haiku Society (1998-2000), and Editor Emeritus for the multi-award-winning Red Moon Anthologies for best haikai literature 2000–2005. He resides in Chippenham, England.

He has seven Collections of haiku poetry


(YTBN Press 2012) 

The In-Between Season  
(With Words Pamphlet Series 2012)

Sundog Haiku Journal: an Australian Year 
(Sunfast Press 1997)

British Haiku Society Intimations Pamphlet Series (1996)


The Comfort of Crows 
(A collaborative/joint haiku collection with Hifsa Ashraf) 
Velvet Dusk Publishing (2019)

(Proletria 2020)

Forbidden Syllables 

(Bones Library 2020)

Karen Hoy (Newport, Wales), 

poet, filmmaker, and courses director of Call of the Page

Her documentary and wildlife credits include work for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, and Discovery Channels.

Karen Hoy’s poetry is included in Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press 2017). 

Her haiku appear in various important anthologies including:

Another Country: Haiku Poetry from Wales; Naad Anunaad; A Vast Sky; Wishbone Moon; Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 Days of Haiku for Children Young and Old; The Signature Haiku Anthology;  and Last Train Home, haiku, tanka and rengay.  

Karen resides in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Area 17 Profile Poet Series: Orrin Tyrell

The Area 17 Profile Poet Series: Orrin Tyrell

Orrin Tyrell, also known as matsukaze, and many other names is a classical music singer who lives in Texas. He is known for his experimental, sensitive, lyrical and detailed down to earth expression in the manner of the Japanese masters.

A man of many names but only one style, that of engaging many of us with highly original work via numerous poetic art forms, here Area 17 focuses on his “single line haiku” aka monoku.

Orrin says:

“Hey there, my name is Orrin and I'm a Black poet. Like Black artists before me, I seek to tell my black-stories & experiences as well as speak on black cultural/social matters through the medium of poetry. I am also a black actor & vocalist.”

Black Regards,
O. Tyrell PréJean

As Orrin had this recently posted up on The Haiku Foundation organisation’s banner, I couldn’t resist adding this to the monoku that Orrin had sent me on request.

waxing moon dead body artfully arranged

– Orrin Tyrell

Publication credit:
The Haiku Foundation’s Per Diem theme of Crimes of Passion curated by Michael H. Lester (Friday 7th August 2020)

We instantly have a haiku with an automatic seasonal note (“kigo” in Japan) letting us know it’s Autumn (the Fall). 

The next two words are startling and foreboding, and ‘artfully arranged’ makes me wonder if this is an art installation, or has there been a murder?   Throughout this feature Orrin will tell us about his haiku, and that many though fictionalized are ALWAYS with an element of truth that burns brightly.

Orrin tells us:

My introduction to haiku and tanka came in 2006 through poet/professor/activist Dr. Sonia Sanchez. I was immediately intrigued by this small poetic form that could hold the entirety of existence in it. It would be some years before I decided to look at the ku tradition through the eyes of Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki.

I’d been in a love/hate relationship with haiku since the beginning. I struggled to find my voice and make haiku adapt to my daily needs. I didn't understand kigo and wasn't sure it was necessary for me. I felt 'i'm not Basho, im not even Japanese' and so i wrestled with it and got frustrated with it and walked away with it. 

I discovered Marlene Mountain, R. C Matsuo-Allard, and eventually Hiroaki Sato and immediately fell in love with the monoku/monolinear approach of writing haiku; and by Marlene Mountain i saw that haiku could indeed hold what many told me it could not. It was then that I turned to senryu.

Of course I learned of senryu via Blyth; but I didn't like what i was reading. I wanted my senryu to be diaristic in nature, i wanted them to be more literary, haikuish, and even tanka-like. There were a few senryu poets that eventually attracted me to that type of senryu: Mizuhara Setsuko, Tokizane Shinko, Onishi Yasuyo, and a few Japanese-American Senryuist (Sanae, George Oyo, Kaho Honda, Gengoro, Jakki, Sunny Seki) and a few others that showed me that senryu could read like a diary entry or such.

Also after really immersing myself in the haiku of Marlene Mountain, I subsequently fell in love with the haiku of Fay Aoyagi and Roberta Beary; who put so much of themselves in ku. It was Fay Aoyagi that said in the preface to her book "Chrysanthemum Love" that "If you believe haiku must be about nature, you may be disappointed with my work.”

There is a lot of “me” in my haiku. I write very subjectively. I am not interested in Zen and the oriental flavor to which some Western haiku/tanka poets are attracted. I love the shortness and evocativeness of haiku. I don’t write to report the weather. I write to tell my stories." I would extend this sentiment by saying, i also write to tell my fantasies/imaginations; this is why I write…

sunset: most of my ku fictionalized

most of what i write is fictionalized. not all of it, but most of it. not sure how many can remember or even know about the ‘haiku wars’ of the seventies, but a part of those haiku wars were those who composed what was called ‘desk-ku;’ or haiku that was written from an idea or putting together words; not the normal moment of inspiration etc. this is largely what i do when writing. 

slicing through this summer rain-black sedan

as this world becomes what it has always been, which is too mad, too loud etc some of us are striving to find simple beauty anywhere. for me i happened to catch a commercial or something on television that had falling rain and a black car driving through it. these kinds of images are what i consider romantic...even sensual.

Dante's 9th circle - a night spent drinking cheap wine

I was watching a favorite horror/supernatural genre show on Netflix, incidentally titled “Supernatural.” and one of the characters made mention of a certain place in Hell that immediately brought Dante’s 9th circle to mind. i was also indulging in Crown Royal Whiskey, which I don’t consider cheap (smile), but somehow having the whiskey in this ku; cheapened seems to complete the picture. 

dark color of whiskey rawness of the Blues

when it comes to drinking, im what’s called a ‘lightweight.’ meaning i can’t really drink too much of anything strong; otherwise it will put me out! ive never been a drinker. i usually stick with wines and even wine-coolers. lately, ive fallen in love with Crown Royal mixed with Coca-Cola and the dark color of both whiskey and coca cola are another one of those things i consider to be sensual. the Blues is also in that category. the Blues which are usually associated with sorrow and were called ‘sorrow-songs’ originated in the Deep South of the USA. They come from a mix of work-songs, and spirituals, as well as call-and-response songs who’s tradition goes back to traditional African music. They are kind of like secular ‘spirituals.’ The Blues were always based on melancholy and sorrow, and as they evolved; they also became songs that touched on every minutiae of the human condition.

still finding love - life in this 'burning house' 

this ku was inspired after reading the translation of a haiku by Issa:

life in a burning house–
but cool air
awakens me

David G. Lanoue’s commentary says that the phrase “life in a burning house” is a playful allusion to a passage in the Lotus Sutra in which people lost in delusion are as three children playing in a house fire. for me the phrase ‘life in this burning house’ references this world and the current state it is in all over; and that even in the midst of all this bedlam and ‘burning,’ there are many great things that can still be found and experienced (ie love).

brushwood fence no haiku moment when i write'em

the first time i ever saw haiku/ku written about haiku was in the ku of Marlene Mountain. Mountain is the first poet I discovered within the haiku community that took haiku and made it her own. Mountain wrote about things that I thought could not be included in a haiku, and she didn’t call it a senryu or zappai. what i want to convey here is that when it comes to writing haiku/ always in a haiku moment, not waiting for one to arrive etc. 

sunset children's laughter last thing i see

this ku is interesting because another thing, when i write haiku i often ‘bite off of’ another haiku poet. i’ll usually use a phrase or two from a haiku or tanka poet’s piece to make my own ku. there’s an ancient technique present in Japanese waka/tanka tradition called, ‘honkadori’ which is the allusive borrowing of phrases and units from well known poets and using those phrases/units to make a wholly different ku or ka (tanka). this is a practice that pays homage to a certain person’s ku or ka; while using that particular piece in order to make  a fresh ku/ka that may or may not have anything to do with the ku or ka you borrowed from. this particular ku was done kind of when i was outside of myself, and somehow i thought about Basho’s cicada cry sinking into stone: 

sinking into the rocks–
cicada’s cry 

emptying the trash he likes Tacitus and Kendrick Lamar

beauty can be found anywhere in life, im discovering; even in the juxtaposition of Tacitus, a Roman historian/politician with Kendrick Lamar American Rapper, Songwriter, Businessman, Actor and Pulitzer winner.

so much anger lives in his poems felled oak

This poem actually came out of a few conversations i had with a dear poet/mentor about another of my favorite poets. this mentor was telling me how great of a poet this haikuist was until she let all of her anger into her poems. 

spring-summer cusp what does life amount to

as Spring turns into Summer, i wonder at least a few times daily; what this life will amount too.

casual sex darkness of aged whiskey

when i was younger, and wild; it was casual hook-ups that were the ‘it’thing. as i’ve gotten older, i find that it’s aged whiskey.

spring sun black kids play 'freeze tag'

childhood memories. the carefreeness. the possibilities. the simplicity of it all. listening to the laughter of some kids, brought these things and more back to mind. 

rain falling seated in silence with an old pain

depression and anxiety are old ‘friends’ that often run through my family. one afternoon here comes a severe thunderstorm and there i am, just there with memories, and trauma/pain.

Father's Day my inner child in a corner sobbing

today is Father’s Day. i lost my father when i was eighteen, back in 1998. today i looked into myself and observed my inner child weeping, just weeping. 

full moon i transform you transform we all transform

writing this one, i thought of the lyrics, “everything must change, nothing stays the same…’ 

summer roses slowly discovering myself 

i ran across a beautiful painting of roses (i think) by the amazing Alexis Rotella; and instantly out of my subconscious came this ku. At this time in my life, I am thirty-eight, soon to be thirty-nine in October; and for the fist time in many beginning to discover myself bit by bit. Its a sweet-painful roses (fragrance and thorns); but that is as it should be. 


Orrin PreJean lives in Dallas, Texas USA. 

He's a tale-weaver who enjoys the shortness of ku and ka with which to tell stories.