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)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 1000 Verse Renga: a call to all poets and the public for even more verses

The Renga Project
now over 1000 verses
and extended to Christmas!

Roger McGough: "This is a lovely idea."

BBC Poetry Season:
"The free project, led by Japanese poetry expert Alan Summers, is the first attempt in Europe to produce a 1,000 verse Renga."
Alan Summers also took part in the BBC's Poetry Summer 2009 season.

An open invitation to poets and the public :
We said we'd love even more renga verses from all the residents of Bath, and all the poets and writers in Bath, and we did, thank you!

We believe this 1000 Verse Renga will stand as an extraordinary social document, as well as a riveting poem.

A competition is also being planned for Spring 2010 for the best verses in various categories: local poets and writers; international poets and writers; the general public; and schools and children.

This is a unique project drawing experienced writers, and international haiku and renga poets, and their verses together, with contributions from the general public.

I'm the
Japanese Embassy roving "Japan-UK 150" haiku & renga poet-in-residence currently in partnership with Bath Libraries.

A challenge started on National Poetry Day (U.K.) in October for the residents of Bath and North East Somerset to create the world's longest poem using the renga form of poety (see below).

This project became more than a poem, it allowed people from all walks of life to reveal aspects of their life, their worries, their fears, to create a unique time capsule for the residents of this area:

and with verse contributions from all over the world from people who care about people beyond their geographical, political and cultural boundaries:

Bath Chronicle: Councillor Terry Gazzard, Bath and North East Somerset Council's cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture said:
"B&NES' libraries are a place where words can come alive and everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Schemes like this poetry project bring the whole community together and reinforce Bath's reputation as a global centre for the arts."
Alan Summers, Bath Chronicle newspaper:
"Libraries are a place of words, and as someone who promotes the love of words, what better place could I choose to launch this incredible type of poem, where the public write the poem – not the poet."
I also want everyone to join in with this fully inclusive group poem!

Bath Central Library access incl. lifts, BSL, and computers:

Monday, November 16, 2009

1000 plus verses up on single verse cards too!

Photos taken from last Friday where we had a photo-shoot of this amazing project.

photo by Kathy Hogan (With Words)
June Wentland, Reader Development Officer, Bath Libraries; Alan Summers, haiku & renga poet-in-residence, Bath Libraries; and Lynne Hamer, Children's Librarian for Bath & North East Somerset Council Libraries.

Both photos by Kathy Hogan (With Words)
June Wentland, Reader Development Officer, putting up individual renga verse cards hand-copied from email and txt renga verses.

Don't forget to click onto images and make them bigger!

photo by Kathy Hogan (With Words)
The 1000 Verse Renga was going to be just for a month, but popular demand has made this project extend into Christmas with a final display planned for the New Year.

photo by Kathy Hogan (With Words)
We have actually gone past the 1000 verse target, but people love this project so much we just had to keep going, and we are already past 2000 verses, but very happy to receive even more!

Renga verse email:

photo by Alan Summers(With Words)
Please do ask what a renga verse is, or what renga verse you could link to, but bear in mind that verses are constantly coming in via email and mobile txt on two different numbers, plus twitter and facebook and other ways too! ;-)

Don't forget to click onto images and make them bigger!

re Competition
We're also planning a competition for the best renga verses with possible categories such as: Best Children's Verse; Best Local Adult Verse; and Best U.K. Verse; and Best International Verse. Keep checking in for when we announce this part of the 1000 Verse Renga.

So many best bits about this project, and so gratifying when someone of the stature of Roger McGough tells you it's a lovely idea!

For those of you interested in sending us a renga verse to add to the big renga project, you can either take the plunge and send them straight to:

Alan taking a photo of Kathy of With Words taking a photo of June Wentland putting up something like the 950th verse card, all copied by hand by June throughout the library.

Or ask us for a verse to link to, bearing in mind that verses come in thick and fast from means of communication via electronic means, as well as people walking into all the branch libraries throughout the county! ;-)

photo by Kathy Hogan (With Words)
Please scroll down to catch earlier posts about this remarkable project and how it started.

photo by Alan Summers (With Words)

photo by Alan Summers (With Words)
The Children's Department also has a wonderful window with verse cards too!

Don't forget to click onto images and make them bigger!

photo by Kathy Hogan (With Words)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A taste of some of the fine international renga for the project

photo by Alan Summers at Bath Central Library
Please click onto the image for a larger picture and enjoy!

Thanks Renku Group!


Friday, November 13, 2009

The 1000 Verse Renga is now 2000 verses strong!

David Lassman, scriptwriter and novelist, who also co-runs the Bath Writers Workshop, helpfully filling in a space between verses!

David was also possibly the 1,999 person to write a renga verse, topped up to 2000 from an entry from Mexico by email later that evening.

photo©Alan Summers

photo©Alan Summers

Thanks David!

It's always gratifying to find one of Bath's fine writers willing to be involved in such a community spirited project as the 1000 Verse Renga Project on the same day Roger McGough told us it was a lovely idea.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The 1000 Verse Renga Film

photo by Karen Hoy
The 1000 Verse Renga being filmed: Alan preparing for the interview.

Alan being interviewed.

photo by Karen Hoy

Watch this space as there will be a film about the 1000 Verse Renga Project being released this year!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Free Renga Poetry Workshop, Friday 1pm - 3pm Bath Central Library

Alan Summers

Free Renga Workshop
Bath Central Library
Friday 6th November
1pm - 3pm

Bath Central Library
1st Floor Level
(Library is behind/to the side of Caffé Piazza)
The Podium Shopping Centre (
Bath BA1 5AN


Alan Summers, Embassy of Japan's roving Japan-UK 150 haiku & renga poet-in-resident, and in Partnership with Bath Libraries, is giving a free renga workshop and session as part of The 1000 Verse Renga.

Please join Alan Summers and June Wentland, B&ANES Reader Development Officer for an action-packed and entertaining renga session.

Everyone is free to come and go, suggest a verse, or just make a comment.

This will be the penultimate event for the nearing conclusion of the highly successful monthlong project based in Bath Central Library and other B&ANES libraries (including Keynsham Library).

Alan will also be in the library earlier in the day being filmed with writers and poets June Wentland; Sara-Jane Webster; Tracey Kelly; and Karen Hoy in conjunction with Like Starlings.

Although we are near the 1000 Verse target we still welcome even more renga verses (haiku like verses) and there are a manner of ways to do this.


You can visit the 1000 Verse Renga display (situated Bath Central Library foyer/Quick Select area) and add a verse by doing it live on a renga sheet! But don't forget to add your name and town/district.

Or submit a Renga verse by email:


Txt a Renga Verse: 07797 806 545
Type RENGA followed by the verse and your name (first or full) and town.


Web link: BBC Poetry Seascon 1000 verse renga article

Web link: Bath Chronicle newspaper article

The final version of the 1000 Verse Renga will be a free eBook with comments and facts, by Christmas, as well as printed copies to read when visiting Bath Central Library.



Writers in Conversation

Tracey Kelly & Alan Summers

Tracey Kelly's debut novel The Hal X Syndrome, described by Terry (Monty Python) Jones as “funny, surprising and original”, is already attracting interest from Hollywood, and already in the hands of an L.A. scriptwriter.

Alan Summers, founder of With Words, is talking about his children's novel-in-progress 'The Christmas Van'; and the big project The 1000 Verse Renga as the Japanese Embassy’s roving haiku & renga poet-in-residence.

WEDNESDAY 25th November

The New Inn, Monmouth Place, Bath, BA1 2AY

7-9pm * £5 on door

The New Inn webpage: