Some of you know that I am an advocate of teaching haik in school. Perhaps this was why I was so excited about haiku poet John Carley's new project: Young Renga which presents a method for teaching renga in the schools. Please check it out and send John a note of encouragement.
I've just found a new saijiki online!. University of Virginia Library is recreating the saijiki, using the text of a popular Japanese saijiki as their base, and adding English translation, photographs, and even audio files to make this online saijiki even more useful! This is a work in progress. The "brief" version provides a very complete word list, while words migrated into the "full" version also provide a photograph, an example haiku, and in some cases an audio file!
In renku, as in haiku, the season of the poem is very important. Please see The Importance of Season by Charles Trumbull for more on that subject.
In spring of 2002, Haikuworld was the host of the Tapping Woodpeckers team in the World Haiku Club Tournament sponsored by the World Haiku Club and the Japan Times. Yours truly was the Captain of our team, and served as the editor for our renku that was entered into the contest. It was a great learning experience!
William Higginson and Tadashi Kondo were the two masters at the first renku session I attended, at Haiku North America 1999 in Chicago. The two have collaborated on a number of renku web pages, including one on Shorter Renku which sets some sample guidelines for the 20 stanza "nijuin" format. Their article Link and Shift was for a long time one of the best renku resources on the web.
The World Haiku Club has been trying to spread the practice of renku through several means. The tournament mentioned above consisted of three matches, with each match having three haiku rounds and one renku round. They have also presented essays in their publication, World Haiku Review such as The Alchemy of Live Renku by Christopher Herold, the editor of The Heron's Nest. This article was originally part of the longer WHC Renku Seminar hosted by Paul MacNeil.
Please read the Tapping Woodpeckers' Renku, Cucumber Sandwiches, and watch for other renku by the Tapping Woodpeckers and their friends!
If you know of a renku related event, please let me know so I may post it here!
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