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)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Meet me at World Book Day & Library of Unwritten Books: Bath Central Library

Meet me at:
Bath Central Library
The Library of Unwritten Books
FRIDAY 5th March 2010
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Library of Unwritten books
Meet and have fun choosing a book title of your very own without writing the contents!
You can even

Library of Unwritten books: a project encouraging library visitors to come up with ideas for books they would write if they had the time and inclination.

Catch me at Bath Central Library (U.K.) on both Thursday and Friday (4th and 5th March) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

World Book Day

Bath Central Library
Thursday 4th March 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Bath Central Library

Library of Unwritten books
Meet and have fun choosing a book title of your very own without writing the contents!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

‘Summer Haiku Almanac' Dartmoor workshop & walk

Moor Poets is a Dartmoor-based group of writers with the aim of encouraging creative writing in people of all abilities.

The ‘Summer Haiku Almanac' workshop & walk

Sunday 13 June, 10 – 4pm
Workshop leaders: Alan Summers & Karen Hoy

Venue: The Big Yurt, Oak Cottage, Spitchwick, Nr Poundsgate
Directions and parking info for this delightful riverside venue:
Pat Fleming:

Tel. : 01364 631233

The aim of the day is to produce haiku in Dartmoor for the creation of a Haiku Almanac: this follows in the tradition of haiku poets in Japan, who traditionally produce seasonal almanacs - Haiku Saijiki.

The workshop will include warm up exercises and group discussion/Q&A with a complimentary Haiku Journal notebook for each person.

There will also be opportunities for micro one-to-one feedback for anyone bringing previously written haiku draft poems.

‘Haiku are poems rooted in natural history and the seasons; they make us conspirators with wildlife, as nature half-writes the haiku before we've even put pen to paper.’ Alan Summers

The day will include a walk with a second complimentary Haiku Journal notebook to use for recording field-notes and/or rough drafts.

Spitchwick, River Dart image©Nick Southall


Please bring old Devon/Dartmoor colloquial terms, nicknames and sayings to help create a Haiku Saijiki for Devon.


These workshops are for members of Moor Poets, so if you’re not already a member, your first workshop fee will also automatically make you a member for this year.

Workshop Fees:
By donation, with a suggested £10 - 25 for all day.

Pens & food SUGGESTION:

Pens and paper, and a packed lunch if coming for a full day. Tea and coffee is available.

If appropriate, please bring outdoor wear (even sunscreen!) suitable for the weather and month on Dartmoor.

Moor Poets Website

Please remember:

To reserve your place,
call or email Jennie Osborne – 01803 840541 /

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

World 1st: British Sign Language Renga (and performed live!)

SOLD OUT, Fully Booked up!
Both days including Saturday night poetry event (150 bookings!)

A 150 strong audience watched possibly a world first, a British Sign Language Renga Performance which made this the most memorable of Saturday nights!

Running parallel were two all day renga workshops with people from various parts of England including various London areas and Surrey; as well as Preston; Leeds; Bristol; Wales and Scotland; Belgium; Sweden; India; South Africa; Lithuania; and the Czech Republic.

Workshoppers practicised composing renga, and then performing renga (on film) before leaping onto the stage just a few hours after becoming renga poets.

Rachel Spence Sutton (University of Bristol) explains BSL renga to the 150 strong audience.

The first renga group get up onto the stage!

The second group (some from each group had never composed or performed poetry before):

Rachel Sutton Spence concludes the evening, and what an evening!

Some of the happy and tired Sunday workshoppers as we concluded the all day Sunday workshop before catching planes, trains, automobiles and bicycles!

The wonderful Bristol Sign Poetry Festival 2010 mug presented to all the brave rengaistas!

weblink: Scroll down to read details about the event

Friday, February 19, 2010

WRITING POETRY the haiku way

This was an amazing event that was sold out! So many things have happened since, including the development of a book in progress with the title of this course: Writing Poetry the haiku way.

Now Karen and myself are known as Call of the Page:

Fully Booked Up!
WRITING POETRY the haiku way.
Monday - Friday 12th - 16th April 2010

Enter the world of Japanese poetry:
immerse yourself into the
quietness’ of haiku while weaving the haiku technique into your writing.

Here is a little taster of what writing we'll be enjoying during the residential course:
  • The Haiku Game: great ice-breaker and relaxed way to start the course.
  • Haiku: its history, techniques, how to keep a haiku journal (complimentary Haiku Journal).
  • Ginko: a writing walk, weather permitting, with complimentary Haiku Journal
The course also includes an insight into other 'forms' associated with haiku:
  • Tanka: the short love poem
  • Haibun ( prose with haiku ): great for journals or diary entries, and with travel writing
  • Renga: Our last full day will have a 12 verse renga, just for fun!
We will also include how to read or perform haiku; haibun; and how to get published.

Alan Summers is a Japanese poetry expert and tutor/director of With Words; a Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku and renga; and published on the BBC Poetry Season website.

He is Joint-Co-ordinator of the 1000 Verse Renga Project (supported by BBC Poetry Season; Bath Chronicle; and Roger McGough thinks it's a lovely idea too!).

He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and is a widely published and translated haiku poet, and experienced workshop leader. 

Alan founded With Words, an organisation that exists to promote the love and enjoyment of words through literacy work, and literature events.

Alan is also co-organiser, and Literature Director of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival; haiku editor for Haijinx magazine; and renga editor for Notes from the Gean magazine.

Karen Hoy is a published haiku writer and has assisted Alan with both Poetry School and other workshops. 

She is published in “My Mother Threw Knives” Second Light Publications (2006) and was Highly Commended in the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Nature Writer of the Year Awards, 2009. 


Claridge House
Tel. No. 01342 832150 or 0845 345 7281



Claridge House, Dormans Road, Dormansland Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6QH

This is our 2nd residential course at Claridge House by the way.
After such a successful week last year both Claridge House and the students immediately re-booked us over breakfast on the final day.

The vegetarian food is incredible by the way, and all diets are covered too!

"Just to say that I have heard from the magazine you suggested and they have accepted my story and will publish and want more. Thank you."
(National magazine)

“You are a great teacher, and I know what I'm saying. Thank you for everything you gave us.”

“…still on a high…you helped me move past a real boulder I had been lugging around…I am very grateful and enjoying my writing much more.”

“Anyone lucky enough to write a renga with Alan will certainly learn what words can do."

"Thank you for remembering me. I benefited a lot when I was feeling very unwell...and would like to do more. Two were included in the Writer's Selection we published last winter."

There will be plenty of opportunity to have one-one and/or group feedback on haiku and other forms that you wish to either get to publishable quality, or wish to develop further in your writing as a novelist; travel writer (and other non-fiction); a journal/diarist; or poet.

Ffi and the renga we did for Red Nose Day: Residential Course

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fully Booked

SOLD OUT, Fully Booked up!
Both days including Saturday night poetry event (150 bookings!)

The University of Bristol Centre for Deaf Studies and the Centre for Personal and Professional Development, in association with Scream Bristol, and Action Deafness Books, are pleased to announce the second Sign Poetry Festival.

Workshops are free and will explore different areas of sign language with the Japanese arts of haiku and renga.

Ffi: Forthcoming Events

Friday, February 05, 2010

National Literacy Trust case study of 1000 Verse Renga Project, and news of renga sessions (workshops) that are just too much fun for their own good!

The 1000 Verse Renga Project on Global Poetry System
photo©With Words
Click on above image to go to Southbank Centre Global Poetry System page
Alan Summers, of With Words
and June Wentland, Reader Development Officer of Bath Libraries (B&NES)

1) Read about the National Literacy Trust Renga Case Study
2) Spring Renga Competition results
3) Summer Renga Sessions
i) Renga party session for writers
ii) FREE renga session(s) for excluded groups
iii) Please read and email for further information (see info below)

National Literacy Trust: Reading Connects
Community involvement - case studies:
Renga river (pdf) - St Martin's Garden Primary School, Bath have been working with Bath Central Library on a global renga poetry project:
Click here for the pdf file

Look out for:
more exciting developments of the 1000 Verse Renga Project including the results of the competition for favourite local renga verses.

Our Summer Renga Sessions!
we are planning something rather special in May 2010!
1) A renga session for writers
If you wish to go on the list for the writers' renga session, or to ask for further information please email us at:

2) FREE RENGA SESSION(S) for Adult Learners Week
If you'd like to nominate an excluded group or adult learner group we would really love to hear from you, to enable sometimes our forgotten members of society to enjoy this immensely fun and learning group activity.

Email us at:

The 1000 Verse Renga Project weblinks

BBC 1000 verse renga article:

Phase Two at Bath Libraries:

Bath Chronicle renga page:

Area 17 renga info:

Facebook (if you have an account):