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)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Submissions wanted for The Football Haiku (俳句) World Cup

Alan's Football Avatar!

summer clouds
a St George flag on a car
I see more than once
Alan Summers

The Football Haiku (俳句) World Cup
The Football Haiku World Cup is a project based on the writing of haiku
poetry specifically geared to the football World Cup in South Africa in
2010. We want to publish beautiful poetry written by you to accompany
the beautiful game.


The basic question for the project is "What has the football World Cup
ever done for us?"
based on the Monty Python question "What have the
Romans ever done for us?"

Writers are encouraged to send in a single football-related haiku that
they have written in answer to that question.

Writers from anywhere in the world are encouraged to send in work.

Writers can send in haiku in any language, though it would be helpful
to us if you can provide an English translation as well (but not
necessary). It is a World Cup, after all, which is as much a festival
of language as a festival of football.

Send us a single football-related haiku written by you to:


* Matthew Devereux, Woking, Surrey, England, has written "The Gambler: A Shakespearean-Dostoevskyian-Reiszian take on the 2010 South Africa World Cup"
* Alan Summers. Founder of With Words <>
* Tim Souster. A primary school teacher in London, England; reviewed
for "The Times Literary Supplement" and "The Financial Times".
* Timmy Killeen runs the English Football Post and is based in Galway, Ireland.
* Peter Ulrik Roeder is the author of "Game Over" and is based in Lyngby, Denmark.
* Adriana Piccardo, creator and administrator of a haiku group at Facebook and is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
* Roxana Elena Roseti is an editor on the Romanian newspaper Jurnalul National.
* Jon Greenbank writes for the English Football Post.
* Dick Whyte co-edits "Haiku News" 
* Rob Scott is a haiku poet from Melbourne, Australia, currently doing his Masters thesis on the history of haiku in Australia.
* Dave 'Serjeantina' Serjeant fires out haiku, senryu and micropoetry thunderbolts at a site called Distant Lightning.
* Rishi Dastidar is a copywriter for ad agency in London and super incredibly brainy.
station approach
a man and his dog train
kick around a tin
Alan Summers

The basic idea is very simple.

Firstly, there will be an ongoing ebook of the haiku we receive that can be downloaded. People downloading that ebook can choose to pay any amount that they like, based on the same funding model as the seminal Radiohead album "In Rainbows".

Once we have received a decent number of initial haiku, we can then offer the first version of the ebook for download. So please send your haiku to us as soon as possible.

After that, in the long-term, those haiku can be put together along with specially commissioned illustrations for a book that will be published and available in shops at a set price. We are interested to
hear from artists and designers.

Of the initial money that is received from those donating for the downloadable ebook, 25% will go to the small team orchestrating and editing the ebook.

25% will be paid equally to contributors of haiku that are selected to be part of the project. 25% will be provided as special prizes to the writers of the three haiku that are voted as the best by readers of the ebook.

The remaining 25% will be given to a football-related good cause voted on by contributors and readers of the ebook.

So if you contribute a poem or download the ebook, please also send over the name of the football-related good cause you would like to see money donated to

If you are an individual or organisation that would like to become a partner or patron or supporter of the project, and would be able to contribute financially to it to help us make it happen (no matter how
small a contribution), please also contact us immediately at

In exchange for your contribution we will provide you with a link in the ebook.

Please send us a single football-related haiku written by you to:


Bath Japanese Festival Renga at the Library

festival logo by Rory Walker

Bath Central Library Renga

This event was part of the Bath Japanese Festival: 
and Adult Learners Week at Bath Central Library.

Saturday 22nd May 2010   3 – 5 p.m.
Japanese Renga Group Poem Workshop
Bath Central Library, Library entrance at The Podium Shopping Centre, Level One, Bath

Another successful Shisan Renga session, or as Boris calls them "a renga jam session!"

Comments from previous renga workshops:

"we really enjoyed the renga was a very intensely creative act, and I was really struck by the renga form itself, what it could be capable of...a whole new poetic energy" Mark, University of Winchester

"Thanks again for a wonderful poetry session."
Yu Yan, U.S. citizen currently visiting Bath

"I just wanted to thank you again for such a great event...I want to do some more!"
Susan, Plymouth

"Thanks so much for yesterday's renga event - it was fantastic! Really got the creative juices flowing. Let me know when the next one is, I will definitely attend!" Tracey, Bath

"Looks like I missed a fantastic event..I hope to be at the next one."
Caroline, Bristol (she was!)

" More! More! " Libby, Bristol

"It is so tempting to get involved in renku/renga with all the excitement you...generate." Melinda, USA

Boris from Slovenia keeps a watchful eye over the next verse.
photo by Alan Summers

The small but pefectly formed Bath Central Library renga crew.
photo by 
Rachel Carvosso

RENGA: splicing spontaneity into your writing at the Bath Japanese Festival

Part of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival

With thirteen people involved, fourteen if we count Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delight's masterly presence:

THURSDAY MAY 20th 6.30pm-8.30pm at Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights 14-15 John Street Bath BA1 2JL

Renga is a type of joint group activity where we all get involved in writing a poem with haikulike verses called ‘links’. Each verse is not so much poetry in the usual sense, but a way to capture snippets of everyday ’ordinary’ plain speech, and language. 

It’s really easy, and gaining huge popularity all the time: for instance Alan’s Bath 1000 Verse Renga Project with Bath Libraries (book coming out soon) was so popular with both the public and writers that they actually received more than 1000 verse.

We didn't really need to hold a gun to this poet, as she provided the first line!


We squeezed in at least a couple of titles from Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, and probably inspired by at least another, I'm sure.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Photos and Events Report for the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival

photo by Alan Summers
Joe Ryan starts early to set up Blazblue: Calamity Trigger anime cells.

Hazel Hammond also starts her Japanese Tattoo exhibition corner.
photo by Mike Keville (London)
Festival mascot Lola the Low Blood Sugar Guide dog in training making herself known again to Alan Summers!  Lola's companion is Children's Poet Liz Brownlee.

Logo created by Rory Walker:

Bath Japanese Festival 2010
So many highlights, just a few:
Courtesy of our sister festival  International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 we have special guests Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳)a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko(桝田純子)a haiku poet, came over to give a taste of haiku and haiga from Japan.


Lee Coombes shows off one of his Japanese tattoos to the audience.
photo by Mike Keville (London)

David Johnson, always popular with audiences, brings his own magic to the event.

Lee Coombes shows his tattoos to Hazel Hammond, at her Japanese Tattoo Corner.
photo by Mike Keville (London)

Aika photographs me photographing her mother, Junko.

2010 Bath Japanese Festival
Zen United proudly sponsor the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival

Launch Party guests and participants
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

BRLSI Group UNI-VERSE Group proudly hosted
The 2010 Bath Japanese Festival Launch Party!

There was something for everyone, from readings from poets and other live word artists plus the Origami Picnic Corner, and Usborne Books for children.

The launch night was both a taster of the festival as a whole, as well as a plethora of mini-exhibitions and activities from

Fabulous Joanna Tinsley and her "the love of it" magazine team ran an origami animal-making workshop packed full of children and adults alike.

They provided the paper (in a choice of colours, prints and textures), a bunch of clever origami experts and a cosy corner in which to fold. All you needed was a home for your paper creation to go to at the end of the night.  Weblink: The Love of It magazine

***HAIGA (haiku painting and calligraphy)***
*Haiga and haiku straight from Japan (Akita, Northern Honshu) with Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳)a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko(桝田純子)a haiku poet, giving a taste of haiga art with haiku.  16 year old Aika, and her mother were a big hit with both the exhibition audience, and in the poetry and liveword room.

Karl Jaeger (Modern Japanese Paintings especially for the launch night) is a BRSLI founding member in 1968, and now Co-founder, Trustee and Chairman of Our Future Planet (OFP)

Joe Ryan presented/exhibited Anime artwork (cells) from Zen United, the team behind the European release of Blazblue - Calamity Trigger displaying a selection of concept art which documented the creative process of game development. Blazblue - Calamity Trigger is a hugely popular video game with a very recognizable anime style. The Japanese developers are very proud that the European gaming press have been raving about the quality of not only the gameplay but of the rich artwork.

To compliment the exhibition also supplied the Japanese book binding course with a selection of drawings which will be used in the learning process:

***Japanese Tattoos - Hazel Hammond***
Hazel had us enter the meanings of dragons, koi carp and cherry blossom with Tattoo Poetry, Live Art and Japanese tattoo motifs: Hazel's The Tattoo Project

Hazel Hammond reading some of her tattoo poems.


Nikki Bennett, Uni-Verse Poetry Group organiser, and host for the festival launch made everyone welcome and gave a reading in her own light as a highly regarded poet.

Alan Summers - a short welcome from the founder and director of With Words <>, and Literature Director of 2010 Bath Japanese Festival and to ensure you know about all our fun corners.

This was followed by a joint reading by Alan, and Karen Hoy, of With Words, from one of their recent renga poems from an ongoing NHS MSU project.

Rachel Carvosso of Tokyo Art Beat & Japan Editor for Bristol's The Love of It; and co-organiser of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival read poems and gave a curatorial talk on the contemporary Japanese book-binding (and workshop) exhibition courtesy of Bath Central Library which With Words are in partnership.

Courtesy of our sister festival The International Haiku Spring Festival 2010, and With Word's guests, Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳)a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko(桝田純子)a haiku poet, gave a taste of haiku from their hometown Akita. After the break, most of the audience immediately went to their haiga art corner to hear more Japanese haiku as well as have haiku written in calligraphy alongside Aika's paintings she created for each person.

Carrie Etter opened up our second set to read haiku and senryu from her collection in progress since 1987: "The Broken Kite"
Carrie's latest collection "The Tethers" £7.99 Paperback (ISBN:9781854114921)
is available to buy from:
Carrie's blog:

Simon Leake (respected Bristol poet and organiser) presented a talk:
'come May / again / white blossom' - The influence of japanese verse on 20th Century American Poetry including readings from the work of William Carlos Williams and Gary Snyder. (Keep checking Area 17 for a full performance early next year.)

SV Wolfland gave a most beautiful spellbinding eye-opening performance.  SV Wolfland is also Spoken/Written Bulletin S.W.'s Editor:

David Johnson: ever popular international and local performance poet Bristol; Bath: USA wowed us with his astute and humourous take on life.

Dru Marland with her ever popular humourous haiku. Dru is an illustrator and photographer.  Here is a photo of Aika doing haiga:
Also see photos of Hazel, and even myself with Karen Hoy!

Hazel Hammond read some of her poems from her forthcoming book "Needlepoint" due to be launched in Bristol on the 28th May:

Lee Coombes, veteran of sell out Bath Fringe Festival events, and now working on a pilot TV series, ended the evening by providing us with raw belly laughs with his comic monologues and also showed us his Japanese tattoos. Catch his fast selling out event with Writing Events Bath!

Further Information

Alan Summers was the Live Word Contact for this launch party:

Nikki Bennett was co-Live Word organiser. For information about her popular and well respected Uni-Verse poetry group events at BRSLI:

Rachel Carvosso is founder and co-organiser of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival, and contact for visual artists:

The list of people to thank for making this so successful is very long. We'd love a comment about your support and involvement for Area 17 readers!

Thanks due to so many include:

The 2010 Bath Japanese Festival logos were designed by Rory Walker:

Room Set up by BRSLI staff: Jonathan Taylor: Paul Browne; and lastly Bob Draper MBE who stayed past 10pm and did so many of those little things that are so vitally helpful.

Uni-Verse Poetry Group Host: Nikki Bennett

Food and Drink: Supplied by Yen Sushi, and served by Karen Hoy and Tracey Kelly

Door Entrance station: Yurika; Dru Marland; and Ruth Carvosso.

Announcements, and bringing his own unique charm and humour: John Carvosso

All the exhibition people including Karl Jaeger (founding member of BRSLI); Fiona from Usborne Books; and to all those others who helped on the night!

2010 Bath Japanese Festival:


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Swindon Festival of Literature, Favourite Words & The Haiku Detectives!

Bush walking chickens, and geese making a perfect end of a perfect family friendly With Words day at the Swindon Festival of Literature.

Mums and daughters doing haiku and favourite words at Swindon Festival of Literature:
One of the very best family friendly festivals in Britain.

Ellie and Mara on their first Favourite Word Fridge Magnets.

Haiku Detectives Ellie and Alan!

Marion and Laura co-write a haiku, and find all the Hidden Haiku throughout the farm too!

Ellie and Mara stayed with us off and on for about three hours, and constantly getting Karen and myself doing the Haiku Detectives Salute!

Bush walking chickens, and geese making a perfect end of a perfect family friendly With Words day at the Swindon Festival of Literature.

With Words highly recommends this festival which has an excellent range of events, and the most friendly atmosphere to all visitors, and probably the safest children's play area with their unique Helicopter Cargo Net game.