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, April 28, 2012

Alan Summers wins the New York based World Monuments Fund organisation's 2012 Haiku Contest

World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization dedicated to saving the world’s most treasured places:

I was delighted to hear that I had won this competition as place names hold such potency in poetry, and in particular, haiku.

The winning haiku by me was about Battersea Power Station:

the moon is broken
Battersea Power Station 
from a train window

Award credit: 1st Prize, World Monuments Fund 2012 Haiku Contest winner

Also published in:
The Moon is Broken: Juxtaposition in haiku article Scope vol. 60 no. 3 (FAWQ  magazine April 2014)

Publication Credit: 

THF Per Diem collection “Light and Dark” December 2014

N.B. Also the haiku is in a pattern of 5-7-5 English-language syllables.

 Please read below about copyright information on this photograph.

Results of the names of the winners are now up, and the haiku will go up alongside images and biographies in early May:

First Prize, $100; Second Prize, $75; Third Prize, $50, and three semi-finalists. All six winning haiku to be published on the World Monuments Fund web site.

First Prize: Alan Summers
Second Prize: Mark Ynys-Mon
Third Prize: Elizabeth Brewster Thomas

Jennifer Burd
John Tiong ChungHoo
Janet Kirchheimer


Annie Finch has published numerous books of poetry, including Calendars (Tupelo Press, 2003, The Encyclopedia of Scotland (Salt Publishing, 2008), Among the Goddesses (Red Hen Press, 2010), Eve (Storyline Press, 1997), and Spells: Selected Poetry, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press. Her poetic collaborations with music, visual art, opera, and theater have been produced at Poets House, Chicago Art Institute, Carnegie Hall, American Opera Projects, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Finch’s books about poetry include The Body of Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2005), A Formal Feeling Comes (New Edition, Word Tech Editions, 2008), An Exaltation of Forms (University of Michigan Press, 2002), and, most recently, co-edited with Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Villanelles (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, 2012), as well as the poetry-writing textbook, A Poet’s Craft (University of Michigan Press, 2010). She is Director of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

In an interview in FULCRUM Magazine, Finch notes: “Like architecture, poetry is an art that creates habitable structures within uninhabitable expanses through the use of repetition, proportion, and pattern. The poet, like the architect, is joyfully and painfully aware of both the provisional nature, and the complete necessity, of such habitable structures." Read her poem "On Poetry and Architecture".

image copyright information
Battersea Power Station, which when completed will have a capacity of about 240,000 kilowatts. The first part was in operation in January 1934.
Approximate date of photograph: 1934
Date 1938
Source Scan from Foreword by E. Royston Pike (1938) Our Generation London: Waverley Book Company
Author Andy Dingley (scanner)

(Reusing this file)
Public domain logo This UK artistic work, of which the author is unknown and cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, is in the public domain because it is one of the following:
  • A photograph, which has never previously been made available to the public (e.g. by publication or display at an exhibition) and which was taken before 1st January 1942; or
  • A photograph, which was made available to the public (e.g. by publication or display at an exhibition) before 1 January 1942; or
  • An artistic work other than a photograph (e.g. a painting), which was made available to the public (e.g. by publication or display at an exhibition) before 1 January 1942.
This tag can be used only when the author cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry. If you wish to rely on it, please specify in the image description the research you have carried out to find who the author was.
The above is all subject to any overriding Publication right which may exist. In practice, Publication right will often override the first of the bullet points listed.
This tag does not apply to engravings or musical works. Unpublished anonymous paintings remain in copyright until 1 January 2040. More information.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

fox dreams... and haiku by Alan Summers

virgin snow
a fox makes prints
for the morning

thunder snow
the wind-shifting scent
of fox

artwork by Dru Marland 

fox dreams  
edited by Aubrie Cox
fox dreams is a project from Yay Words! Poets were invited to submit short form poetry and artwork about foxes and/or dreams to celebrate the Inari Matsuri festival. Each poet who submitted was guaranteed at least one poem into the collection.

All poems and artwork copyright of their authors.

Dreams and foxes both charm and allude us. They appear in the corner of our eyes, only to vanish the moment we consciously register their presence. Foxes, while they run rampant in folklore and mythology, are difficult to keep on the page—they’d rather be devious! Dreams present the challenge of anchoring the abstract within the concrete. With each prompt I give on Yay Words! it’s my goal to challenge and inspire. I try to select two themes that are a little unusual, complementary, and would make, in my humble opinion, for good poems.

Every time, I always secretly worry that perhaps I’ve chosen something too difficult, or uninteresting. But, of course, so many of you rose to the challenge fearlessly with beautiful words and imagery. Thank you for continuing to wow and inspire me.

May you all keep dreaming fantastic things.

Aubrie Cox
22 April, 2012

You'll find my 3rd haiku in the pdf, it's rather dreamy.  

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


fox dreams 
                                          Download fox dreams PDF.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Special Guest Speaker announced for the ekphrastic haiku course event at Quest Gallery

The Haiku Event at The Royal Crescent Hotel with Tom Lowenstein and Alan Summers
Wednesday 27 June starting 8pm

For information and to book
contact Sarah Jenkins, Projects Coordinator at Quest Gallery

Tel.        01225 444142

The Royal Crescent Hotel:

Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012:

But do come to the Quest Gallery's Private View just before too!
Quest Gallery Location and map:

I'm pleased that Tom Lowenstein has been able to confirm the guest speaker appearance at the Haiku Reading event where the course participants have an opportunity to read haiku they've written during the course.  The event will have the obligatory wine and nibbles. 

FFI on the course, enquiries, or booking regarding the Ekphrastic Haiku Sessions at Quest Gallery:

  • Tom Lowenstein will give a talk on the origins of haiku.
  • Alan Summers will give a short introduction to Modern, and Contemporary Haiku both in Japan, and in the West. 

Tom Lowenstein is well known for his books including:

Classic Haiku: The Greatest Japanese Poetry from Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki, and Their Followers  Ed. Tom Lowenstein Publisher: Duncan Baird (2007)

Haiku Inspirations: Poems and Meditations on Nature and Beauty
Ed. Tom Lowenstein and Victoria James Publisher: Duncan Baird (2006)

“Tom Lowenstein is an original among young British poets—quite exceptionally gifted...” 
Ted Hughes wrote in 1980.

"Your writing is unlike anything else—very new and alive, very strange and memorable." 
—Ted Hughes.

Tom Lowenstein is widely published in his own right in poetry magazines such as: Poetry Review; PN Review; The New Cambridge Review; London Review of Books; Fulcrum (New York); Shearsman magazine; and Poetry Salzburg Review

Shearsman Titles:  

  • Ancestors and Species: New & Selected Ethnographic Poetry
  • Conversation with Murasaki

FFI on the course, enquiries, or booking regarding the Ekphrastic Haiku Sessions at Quest Gallery:


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 2012 Purely Haiku Writers retreat in glorious surroundings and fantastic food provided all day full board!

Over the years I've met an incredible group of individuals who make this course sing, although there's no singing and besides I have a terrible voice for that artform.

I hope some of you find something in the following course that entices you to help make another great residential course, in a relaxing place, perfect for writing, reading, and listening to haiku.


A unique residential writers' course
and Retreat led by Alan Summers
Monday May 21st - Friday 25th 2012

"I think that's a brilliant price. It's a bargain for what you are offering."

Annie Bachini (former President of the British Haiku Society)

"Alan is able to work with people who have no experience of poetry to encourage them to try it.  He watches and listens with patience and respect and offers guidance that is flexible enough to empower the workshop participants but firm enough to support them."

Rachel Sutton-Spence
School of Applied Community and Health Studies
Centre for Personal and Professional Development

A course designed both for the beginner who would like to tackle something new; the intermediate who wants to go further into the subject; and the advanced writer who needs time away to solidfy a haiku collection.

This is a gentle and friendly immersive course where we study what makes a haiku tick, and how to read and write haiku poetry. We'll read Classic and Contemporary haiku examples from Japan and other countries.  We'll learn that our own experiences become haiku poetry, and act as an important social document and record of our lives.

" I'm here to work hard for you so you can relax and absorb at your own rate."  Alan

We all arrive Monday afternoon to a fabulous spread of tea, coffee, non-caffeine hot drinks, and soft drinks, plus home-made cakes get together.  Let Claridge House know of any allergies and dietary needs, and be assured the non-gluten and/or non-wheat choices are as delicious.

Enjoy a concluding now traditional Thursday evening renga party last event together, concluding with Friday morning's scrumptious final breakfast, and then being whisked away to the station by friendly staff if you need transport to the nearby train station.

Thursday evening is when we run the 12 linking verses renga session with a party atmosphere, that includes a souvenir Haiku Journal Notebook to keep the record of the renga as a great memory of the week.

The Purely Haiku Course Claridge House details:

Course details:


Bursary help is available - enquire on-line or phone for details.

Finding Claridge House:

Claridge House, Surrey
Dormans Road
Surrey RH7 6QH
South East England

(just outside London)

Claridge House enquiries and booking information contact details:
Phone: 01342 832150
Phone: 0845 3457281

The course can be as introductory for you as you like, or as advanced as you'd like on a personal one-to-one basis.

There will be plenty of one-to-one chats and critique time, as well as great group activies and exercises.


The vegetarian and vegan food, covers all dietary needs, non-gluten, non-wheat, non-dairy etc... and is fantastic.

There's plenty of organised tea, coffee, non-caffeine hot drinks, cold drinks, homemade cakes, lots of biscuits including non-gluten and non-wheat provided for us, so we don't even need to lift a finger, it's all brought to us!

Upon request I can touch on, or go deeper into certain haiku subjects:
kigo; kireji; gendai; shasei; juxtaposition and disjunctive methods; and how to make concrete images stand out, and even come across as lyrical in so short a poem, that can also help improve your other writing styles.

We can touch, or go deeper into:

  • Amazement of the ordinary
  • Hearing your voice in poetry
  • Allusion in haiku
  • How the Seasons can still move us
  • Basho: not allowing a hair’s breadth separate yourself from the subject
  • Basho: Meditative landscape and the mood of nature
  • Putting the colour, details, light and shade into your haiku
  • Haiku and how to participate in your landscape
  • The Golden Ratio of Art through Haiku
  • Hemingway's Shoes and Mono no Aware
  • Wabi-Sabi and Haiku
  • The Gentle Whispers of Haiku
  • The Brightness of Balance in Haiku
  • The mysterious MA of haiku and white space in haiku

" I'm here to work hard for you so you can relax and absorb at your own rate."  Alan


Alan Summers, born London, England, is a Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku. He is the Linked Forms Editor of online magazine Notes from the Gean; and a founding editor of online magazine Haijinx,  finding humour in haiku.

Alan was the lead poet and creator, of The 1000 Verse Renga Project in partnership with Bath Libraries (U.K.) and supported by the BBC Poetry Season website. 

He's been General Secretary of the British Haiku Society (1998-2000); served on the Board of Editors for the award-winning Red Moon Anthologies; and is a Life Member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Queensland.

Alan also helped create possibly the World's first ever Sign Language Renga which can be seen on YouTube, and an article was published in the Journal of Renku and Renga (Darlington Richards 2010).

Currently Alan is running the Kigo Lab project exploring British regional seasonal words, phrases and references as a resource for poets of all disciplines including haiku and renga. Kigo Lab is an experiment to use the potential of Western literary and seasonal references for a saijiki (almanac).


Monday, April 16, 2012

The (Wednesday) Menagerie with Alan Summers and The Love Lounge Learns Haiku

Music from Poppy and Friends; Jools Scott; haiku poetry readings from Alan Summers and haiku sessioners: BAFTA award-winning short animation showing of The Eagleman Stag:

Evening events curated by Ben Please
more details:

Love Lounge Learns... Haiku!
The back room @ The Bell Inn, 103 Walcot Street, Bath.
Wednesday April 25th
Arrive 7.15pm for 7.30pm start till 8.30pm.
£2 on the door

A 60 minute relaxed, fun, and inclusive interactive workshop!

Alan Summers, Japan Times award-winning writer

I'll be running a 60 minute haiku poetry session at the Bell Inn's Love Lounge.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the complexities of haiku in a fully interactive atmosphere.

50 Pence Special Price for haiku session participants:

The Haiku Journal Notebooks first launched at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Thames Festival. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Renga Days with Japan Times award-winning writer Alan Summers, with haiku writer Jann Wirtz of Devon

Renga Days in glorious Devon at the Broomhill Arts Hotel:

Where to find Broomhill Arts Hotel:

The Sculpture Gardens:

What they say about Broomhill Arts Hotel:

Contact and information details for the Broomhill Arts Hotel:

This is a great fun inclusive ice-breaking activity, and a way to make friends, and crack a few jokes at the same time as learning one of the most famous of all poetry forms, yet one of the most mysterious.

What is Renga?

Renga is a traditional Japanese group poem that is ‘shared writing’: everyone is allowed the chance to write, or orally suggest a verse.

Renga is simply writing incredibly short lines (2 or 3 line verses) with almost teasingly invisible connections to each verse.

When completed everyone is a co-author of the renga poem.

For anyone new to renga, we'd love to receive your "micro-memories", whether childhood memories, or very recent memories.

Renga is very inclusive, creative, and encouraging, and the making of this communal poem is as important as the final result.

The cost is only £4.50 entry to the Sculpture Garden:
Of all the ‘poetic forms’ this is one that works for people who have never written before, and yet offers a great challenge for those who are already comfortable and established writers.

The renga verses are more than the sum of its parts as they capture our thoughts and feelings, which might otherwise be lost at end of the day; we can also share an experience wherein strangers and friends or colleagues connect for a moment.

Welcome to Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre for accomodation details etc...

Make this an even longer stay and visit other places:

Alan Summers has been writing haiku and renga for twenty years and as a Japan Times award-winning writer for renga and haiku poetry (haiku evolved from being a renga poem’s ‘starting verse’) he felt renga was ideal for a creative writing event that involved people who might feel they are not poets.

More about Alan Summers
Alan Summers has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University; founder and director of With Words; and a Japan Times award-winning writer for renga and haiku.

He has ran workshops at the Royal Festival Hall (London), with Japan-UK 150 and the Thames Festival. 

Alan is regularly published in Japanese magazines & anthologies; and newspapers such as Yomiuri Shimbun; and Mainichi Daily News, Tokyo, Japan.

Alan with some renga busting verses.

More information:


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A selection of ekphrastic haiku from Monet to netsuke by Alan Summers, Japan Times award-winning writer

Artist: Claude Monet
Artist Info: French, 1840 - 1926
Title: The Bridge at Argenteuil
Dated: 1874
Medium: oil on canvas
Classification: Painting
Credit: Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
Accession No. 1983.1.24
Digitization: Image Use
Open Access

Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Source: Open Access (OA), via National Gallery of Art, Washington

What is Ekphrasis?

I'm running a five week course on ekphrastic haiku at the Quest Gallery:

Quest Gallery | The Ekphrastic Haiku Sessions
The following haiku are by me, and the idea on completion of the Quest Gallery course is to produce ekphrastic haiku by the participants which will go into the exhibition catalogue providing a legacy for both participants, visitors, and the gallery.

Monet’s Haystacks
a group of crows tug
at twilight

Alan Summers
Publications credits: Asahi Shimbun (Japan 2010)

Monet’s pain–
the shadows of haybales
lengthening the sunset

Alan Summers
Publications credits: The Bath Burp: Poetry, Music & Arts Monthly Issue No. 10 (2012)

The painting that inspired me from the time I saw it at this museum: 

Monet's Pain: 

[Monet] remained loyal to the Impressionists' early goal of capturing the transitory effects of nature through direct observation. In 1890 he began creating paintings in series, depicting the same subject under various conditions and at different times of the day.

His late pictures, made when he was half-blind, are shimmering pools of color almost totally devoid of form. 

Discover... Claude Monet:  

Van Gogh’s wheatfield
the width of a hand fills
with crows

Alan Summers
Publications credits:  The Bath Burp: Poetry, Music & Arts Monthly Issue No. 10 (2012)

Waterloo sunset
the Thames disappears
from the Tube map

Alan Summers
Publications credits: haijinx  vol III issue 1 (2010); Across the Haikuverse, No. 10: Bleak Midwinter Edition (2011)

Newspaper article:

the blue
of the aubergine
a spider is caught
in the netsuke

Victoria and Albert Museum

Alan Summers

 Publications credits: Snapshots Seven (2000)

the hare with amber eyes
jumps back in again

Alan Summers
Publications credits: Mainichi Shimbun (Japan 2011)

Quest Gallery | The Ekphrastic Haiku Sessions


Monday, April 09, 2012

The Haiku Sessions at the Quest Art Gallery for Contemporary Art

The Haiku Course in Poetry and Art: 
Wk 1. The Golden Ratio of Art through Haiku
Wk 2. Hemingway's Shoes and Mono no Aware
Wk 3. Wabi-Sabi and Haiku
Wk 4. The Gentle Whispers of Haiku 
Wk 5. The Brightness of Balance in Haiku


Spirit and Matter
If you are able to attend the Spirit and Matter combined event of private view with a talk, it will prove invaluable to get even more out of the haiku sessions that commence May 30th 2012.

Tickets for the talk are £10 each, available from the Gallery:

The Quest Gallery is opposite the Lime Lounge 

The private view and the talk by Brian Falconbridge PRBS, with Susan Kenny, will be invaluable to gain extra insights into the exhibition and what to look for regarding the haiku sessions:

Professor Brian Falconbridge PRBS is the President of The Royal British Society of Sculptors, and the Head of Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media & Design.

Susan Kenney is the widow of the famous artist Michael Kenney RA:

The Gallery is off to the right of the Circus, in Bath, see map at:

Helpful for the Haiku Sessions: Your invitation to the forthcoming exhibition at the Quest Gallery

Your invitation to the forthcoming exhibition at the Quest Gallery: Please book early as these places really do go fast.

Tickets for the talk are £10 each, available from the Gallery:

The private view and the talk by Brian Falconbridge PRBS, with Susan Kenny, will be invaluable to gain extra insights into the exhibition and what to look for regarding the haiku sessions:

Professor Brian Falconbridge PRBS is the President of The Royal British Society of Sculptors, and the Head of Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media & Design.

Susan Kenney is the widow of the famous artist Michael Kenney RA:

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Love Lounge Learns... Haiku!

Love Lounge Learns... Haiku!

The back room @ The Bell Inn, 103 Walcot Street, Bath.

Wednesday April 25th
Arrive 7.15pm for 7.30pm start till 8.30pm.
£2 on the door

A 60 minute relaxed, fun, and inclusive interactive workshop by Japan Times award-winning writer Alan Summers.

No need to book in advance, just come along, and if you are interested, and caught up in the moment, pay at the door.
Afterwards there’s reading opportunities for us, and a film and music event which can be paid for at a discount for haiku workshoppers.

If you have never been to The Bell Inn, it’s an amazing pub and the unofficial headquarters for Bath’s Fringe Festival too.

£2 on the door for the haiku workshop experience (or £5 for both the workshop & live music and film curated by Ben Please.

The (Wednesday) Menagerie with live music and film, curated by Ben Please is £4 on the door, but works out a whole quid cheaper if you are a haiku workshopper!

The Back Bar

Map etc…


The Bell Inn: 
A Rough Guide Author Pick 2012
"It’s my great pleasure to inform you that you have been listed in The Rough Guide to BRISTOL, BATH & SOMERSET and our writers were so impressed with your establishment that you have been chosen as an Author Pick!"

-Rough Guide 2012