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, October 09, 2007

The Poetry School 2008 courses

I'm giving the following Poetry School courses in 2008:

Haiku & Senryu
Activity: Writing Feedback Exercises
Study Mode: One Day Workshop
Slug and Lettuce - Bath
5/6 Edgar Buildings, George Street
Bath BA1 2EE
Slug & Lettuce weblink: Slug & Lettuce
Date: 23 February, 2008
Day: Saturday
Time: 10.30am-4.30pm

Participants will learn the ‘real rules’ of these ultra-compact forms and consider their relevance to modern British poetry.


Korean, Japanese & Chinese Forms
Activity: Writing Feedback Exercises
Study Mode: One Day Workshop
Slug and Lettuce - Bath
5/6 Edgar Buildings, George Street
Bath BA1 2EE
Slug & Lettuce weblink: Slug & Lettuce
Date: 29 March, 2008
Day: Saturday
Time: 10.30am-4.30pm

This workshop introduces the forms of Sijo, Sedoka, Tanka, and Jueju. Participants will learn how these forms are still active today.


Activity: Writing Feedback Exercises
Study Mode: One Day Workshop
Slug and Lettuce - Bath
5/6 Edgar Buildings, George Street
Bath BA1 2EE
Slug & Lettuce weblink: Slug & Lettuce
Date: 26 April, 2008
Day: Saturday
Time: 10.30am-4.30pm

This workshop introduces the shared writing linked verse form of renga (both haiku and senryu originate from renga). Through group activity we will aim to complete a twenty verse nijuin renga by the end of the day.

For the renga workshop, if you have never written renga, then there is no need to bring work, just bring yourself!
The purpose of these three workshops is to examine and practice, through group discussion and participation, both the traditions and contemporary possibilities of various classic Asian poetry forms. Participants will aim to have finished poems at the end of each session and are invited to bring work-in-progress as well (16 copies of each poem).

Each workshop fee: £35, £25 concs

The School office in London is staffed part-time, so if you don't catch them in, please leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as they possibly can:
Phone: 0845 223 5274


The Poetry School weblink: The Poetry School

Slug & Lettuce, Bath weblink: Where to find the Slug & Lettuce, and contact details

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Space Haiku Competition!

A space haiku competition for under sixteens, fantastic prizes!

Web link: At-Bristol Space Haiku competition

haiku detectives Copyright © 2007 Alan Summers & With Words,
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The new Katikati Haiku Pathway guidebook is now available.


"The new Katikati Haiku Pathway guidebook is now available. It features a complete set of the 30 poems engraved on boulders in this riverside walk in Katikati, New Zealand, among them a poem by English writer Alan Summers. The walk had its three newest additions blessed at the end of July in a ceremony conducted by local Maori."

almost lost
in the shimmer of water
several ducklings

The book also includes short author biographies, a potted history of the project and a map of the pathway.

For those ordering from the UK the cost (including P&P) in New Zealand dollars is $12 for 1, or $20 for 2.

Payment may be made through the Katikati Haiku Pathway Focus Committee's PayPal account.

Please e-mail Sandra at:
for details of the payee account, or for the cost if you wish to purchase more than 2 books.

* haiku publishing credits:

  1. "water"  (2010) haiga by Kuni  is the 2nd of the haiga eBook series. Just as "wind", this book give you full view of haiku scene in the world. Content: 75 color plates of haiga artwork for haiku poems by well known 65 haijin (poets) from around the world.
  2. See Haiku Here (kuni_san) April 13, 2009  Haiga 197
  3. Yomiuri Shimbun  October 2004
  4. Narrow Road haiku sequence Various Artists eMagazine  March 2004
  5. Haiku Pathway Katikati book ISBN 0-476-00060-2  (2003) Katikati Open-Air Art Inc.
  6. First Australian Haiku Anthology ISBN 0 9577925 9 X (2003)
  7. Raku Teapot: Haiku Book and CD pub. Raku Teapot Press 2003 in association with White Owl Publishing Book: ISBN 1-891691-03-1 CD:  ISBN 1-891691-04-X
  8. Wild Flowers, New Leaves  (2002) Ed. Susumu Takiguchi  Ami-Net International Press ISBN 1 902135 03 2
  9. Flowers on a Shoe String a collection of poetry and prose ed. Sacha Tremain in aid of ‘One to One Children’s Charity’ Institute of Physics Publishing 2002
  10. HI journal #42, Haiku International, Japan, January 2001 (trans into Japanese)
  11. January 2001
  12. Haiga site 2001
  13. Haiku Pathway,  Katikati, North Island, New Zealand            handcarved into a river boulder 2000               
  14. HI journal #42, Haiku International, Japan, January 2001 (translated into Japanese) include or not?
  15. First Australian Anthology 1999
  16. It was reprinted in the British Haiku Society Journal article "English/Japanese Haiku" by Nobuyuki Yuasa Blithe Spirit article  vol.8 no.3  ISSN 1353-3320 (September 1998)
  17. The haiku was used and translated for an article read at the Baiko Women's College, Oct. 1996 by Nobuyuki Yuasa  who is also the editor/translator of the Penguin Classics book ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches’ ISBN 0140441859                                                                 trans. into romaji by Nobuyuki Yuasa,              mizu haete  hikari ni kasumu  kogamo kana 
  18. Blithe Spirit Vol. 6 No. 1  February 1996   ISSN 1353-3320

If you would like to learn more about the pathway, please go to:
Poetry Society New Zealand

Janice's Katikati webpage with images:

The Katikati Town Web Site:
includes details of the Haiku Pathway

Katikati’s Millennium Project, The Haiku Pathway:
Katikati Mural Town: haiku park

Gerald England's blog and Katikati record:
Ackborn born, gone West: ABC Wednesday - K is for Katikati Haiku Pathway

For New Zealand, and international haiku news please check out:
New Zealand Haiku News


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Writer in Residence, Frome Festival, 7th July 2007

photo©Crysse Morrisson
Check out Crysse's blog for more background information: weblink
and at Hazel Stewart's blog: Hazel's blog link

Here I am, as writer-in-residence with manager Kate, staff members Becky, Jen, Sally, and Saturday volunteer orangey stripy Helen!

Jen Pickup even wrote two haiku with me in!

Resident writer
sitting in the window shade
scribbling lines.

Noise from the stream street
Drifting in past the poet
Into the shop cool.

Jen is wearing the No. 3 purple top! ;-)

The result of my writing, which this time wasn't haiku or other haikai, was revealed on the 23rd July event at Christies Café in Frome.

Check out Crysse's and Hazel's blogs for information on the Frome Festival: crysse's blog weblink and Hazel's: Hazel's blog link


Haiku balloons at the POW Festival of Arts & Literature, Bath Spa University

photo©Alan Summers 2007

This image is of the haiku balloons, each one of them with a haiku written by students during my workshops, and by visitors to the POW Festival of Arts & Literature:

POW festival poster images designed by Abby Keverne
The POW Festival
Bath Spa University
Newton Park
Friday 15th June 2007

I was involved with a number of haiku & renga workshops at Bath Spa University, hired by ambidextrous who were behind this great festival along with another student society called Play on Words Productions.

Watch the video made by Ambidextrous and Soft C, and leave a comment to encourage current and future Bath Spa Univ. students.
Weblink: haiku video

Here you can see Emerson Leese, of Ambidextrous, checking out my Haiku Wall during the time I was a haiku poet-in-residence at Bristol central cafe Oppo}, as mentioned in this year's "Lonely Planet" guide for the U.K.!
Weblink: click for image of Emerson with me and my haiku wall!
Alan & Emerson photo©Sam Reader, ambidextrous

More weblinks:
Weblink: ambidextrous Myspace site
Weblink: The POW Festival
Alan's "haigu" [sic]
"back by popular demand"
One of many of the Haiku Walls at Bath Spa University

Here you can see some of the balloons in "The Haiku Room". Weather brought them out, but weather later took them out and up up and away too!

First 3 images in this grouping by Abby Keverne, POW 
4th image©Alan Summers 2007

You can see a student hard at work composing a haiku poem.
(haiku writing photo©Alan Summers 2007)
haiku wall/balloons photo by Abby Keverne, POW

The POW Festival team (red POW T-shirts) were out in force for the launch of the haiku balloons.
(1st photo©Alan Summers 2007
Last 5 photos by Abby Keverne, POW)

And except for the single spooky silver haiku UFO near my feet, I think a few haiku balloons might still be floating over mainland Europe and even heading over to Japan.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

haiku & poetry at Gold Hill Fair

Six poets go to the Gold Hill Fair!
Fast firing words to sensual whispers, an exciting mix of poets from across the South West take a new look at life and tell it like it really is.
Tracy Wall's Tor Poets

Due to severe storm warning the organiser of the Gold Hill Fair managed to secure us the skittle alley in the Two Brewers pub, which is an eighteenth century pub at the bottom of Gold Hill at 24, St James Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset, U.K. weblink: The Two Brewers pub

BTW if you think the hill looks familiar, it was used in a famous T.V. advert for Hovis bread: weblink

The poets on Sunday 1st July 2007 were:
Tracy Wall
Alan Summers
Rose Flint
jennie gilling
Bob Walton
Anna Davies

Gold Hill Fair Website: Gold Hill Fair

Poet's weblinks:
Rose Flint
Wells Literature Festival Slam winner Tracy Wall
Poet/artist Jennie Gilling
Bob Walton, who has won the Welsh Arts Council New Poet Award
Anna Davies, up and coming poet Glastonbury poet

I also brought my Haiku Postbox and as you can see, with Anna's fine signwriting, even the fabulous Two Brewers pub staff were hooked!

Big thanks to Lottie and Kathy for being such cool participants!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The AppleHouse haiku & ginko pictures

The following images come from the Saturday June 9th 2007 haiku workshop in Kent, South East England:
No previous experience of writing or reading haiku was necessary.

The AppleHouse workshop studio is one of the nicest places I've ever workshopped in! The students were excellent too!

The nearby oast house, and some of the insects. I also saw a fox cub come out from the orchard and pose for a couple of seconds but I'd foolishly switched my camera off.

These two students are excellent examples of becoming immersed in wabisabi.

Unfortunately I had to drag them back to the studio so we could hear their haiku!

This is Lynne Rees, who organises the AppleHouse poetry workshops, absorbing the atmosphere for writing haiku.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Kenya, Africa: The Stars & Night Sky Challenge Haiku Competition Results!

Top left photo©David Kimani Mwangi
(all unnamed photos are ©Isabelle Prondzynski)

The Stars & Night Sky Challenge Haiku Competition all started when I challenged students in Nairobi to write haiku poems about the stars and night sky!

To find out even more please make a visit to:
The Kenya Saijiki home page
Saijiki is a kind of poetry almanac for haiku!
A saijiki contains many keywords
and phrases for the seasons called kigo and kidai:
The World Kigo Database Home Page

In March 2007 I posted a challenge to the discussion site of the haiku clubs of Nairobi: WEBLINK: The haiku clubs of Nairobi

Photos©David Kimani Mwangi
[NOTE: Patrick Wafula is in the purple shirt, and as you will see further down in the Adult section, also a very fine haiku poet!]

My Challenge!
"Can I ask something? Can I in fact, challenge you?! ;-)

I don't know how much clear night sky you can see, because of city lights, but where I live, in Bradford on Avon, because I am near the country, there are fewer street and house lights and I can see the Milky Way, and Orion's Belt, very clearly, can you see them?

Do you have different words for stars and groups of stars?

I would love to get to see haiku that involve the stars, from very local names to regional names, maybe your own names for stars too."

Photos©David Kimani Mwangi

[NOTE: Anthony Njoroge is in the cream shirt and a great community leader, and he acts as Master of Ceremonies, as well as being a very fine haiku poet too!]

This is what happened... a full-blown haiku competition for Nairobi students culminating in a prize giving!

These teenagers are from Kayole slum -- I hesitate to say they are slum children, because the students, who come from very poor backgrounds, are rich in life and attitude that constantly leaves me humbled and inspired. They are also very well educated, and I have learnt more from them and their teachers than I can ever teach them.

So, the challenge was met, and 142 haiku were collected by Isabelle Prondzynski (Moderator of the discussion group, Kenya Saijiki) and handed over to me for judging, with the support of Gabi Greve (Director of WHC Worldkigo) in Japan.

Finally, the prizes were announced and awarded at the Outing of the Haiku Clubs in May 2007 -- read more here :

It was a beautiful day, and much fun was had by all, as you will see from the pictures of the ginko that followed the prize giving.

The student prize winners of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

Comments by Alan Summers :

1st Prize

around the bonfire --
a shooting star

~ Anne Njoki (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Storytelling is such an important part of culture in any country, and here we have other strong words that carry so much weight, in "bonfire" and "shooting star". What a lovely atmosphere is evoked here, and that is a very important part of haiku, evoking (showing) not telling, not putting everything onto the page, yet it's all there to be read if you look for it.

2nd Prize

pointing at the full moon --
the baby stops crying
as she watches the moon

~ Catherine Njeri Maina (Bamboocha)

The other person doesn't need to be mentioned in any more words, because we can all imagine it is either our older brother or sister, an aunt, an uncle, or a parent, sharing the wonder of the moon with a child. Wonderful!

3rd Prize
a thief stealing
from our neighbour's shop --

~ Caren Cheptoo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

This has a good allusion to a classic haiku, and I can imagine more than one meaning here. It could be a straight meaning of a thief stealing or trying to steal from a shop at night, or a thief "window shopping" at night and all he can steal is the moonlight. A good haiku is where readers can take different meanings from the poem and add a little of themselves, so a haiku is not only the shortest poem in the world, but when people share their own meanings it also becomes the longest poem in the world!

EXTRA NOTE: this also works as an allusion to a famous haiku from Buson...

the moon-
even a thief stops
to admire

trans. Alan Summers

Please consider visiting this weblink to see more prize winning entries from the schoolchildren, they really are good!
The Kenya Saijiki results page

We even had a section created for adults!

The Adult Section Prizewinners
With the comments of Alan Summers :

Adult prizewinners of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge
Photos © Isabelle Prondzynski

1st Prize

a twilight girl
running on the street --
glittering stars

~ James Macharia (Bahati)

I love the stunning "a twilight girl" which falls headlong into a great poem!

2nd Prize
moon and stars
the only witnesses --
two lovers eloping

~ Patrick Wafula (Patron, Bamboochas [In the middle])

Very very atmospheric!

3rd Prize
clouds move
some stars are covered
it darkens

~ Adelaide Luvandale (Patron, Peacocks)

A very chilling, moody, atmospheric last line, I love it!

Please consider visiting these weblinks also:
The Kenya Saijiki home page
The World Kigo database home page