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A New Year of Renku

The Renku Sessions will resume in the first week of the new year, with a posting on Thursday, January 5. Given the start date, we have decided to use a “new year” format created by Professor Shinku Fukuda. This will be a Kasen (thirty-six verse) renku, in which we will be adding one new verse per week. I will offer a hokku (starting verse) in the first posting and invite readers to offer a wakiku (side verse/second verse) in response.

This session will differ from previous sessions in one important way. I will offer the author of each selected verse the opportunity to be the selector for the next verse, making brief comments on their selection. Since some will not wish to take up this challenge, it will be optional and I will remain ready to make a selection for anyone who declines. But I am hopeful that most, if not all, contributors will be happy to give this a try.

The idea of sharing the selection process came to me when I found it difficult to find new volunteers to lead future THF renku sessions among those poets that I know to have led renku sessions elsewhere. We do have a commitment from Kala Ramesh to lead a brief session, following the completion of this new Kasen. Thank you, Kala! But our schedule remains open after that. Please contact me if you would like to lead a renku session on this site. In the meantime, I am hoping that sharing the leadership of this next Kasen will whet the appetites of future renku leaders!

With best wishes to all,

John Stevenson

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for offering this again, John! I loved watching the process unfold the first time you did this here, and look forward to it again.

    I anticipate that inviting people whose haiku were selected to choose the next one might add an additional layer of learning. Very exciting!

  2. Dear John, I’m new to renku, but I’m looking forward to try this challenge. I really love it.

  3. Thanks and Happy New Year, John! I’m looking forward to the new session and I like the idea of sharing the selection.

    1. You may get some idea of what it involves just by watching what takes place in the course of this new renku session. At some point, as your own questions become clearer, you may want to correspond directly with me about this (rather than through The Haiku Foundation site).

    1. Thanks, Ellen. I hope that most of those who are offered a chance to choose and comment on a verse will take up the opportunity. Just want to be sure that no one is turned off if that doesn’t sound like fun to them.

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