The Renku Sessions, one of The Haiku Foundation‘s most popular features, returns next week in its usual Thursday slot with Marshall Hryciuk as sabaki. Marshall plans a 36-link renku, one session per week, titled “a day of snow,” for which he will be supplying the hokku. He brings decades of experience to the job, along with a completely eclectic take on how to do it. We’re sure you’ll have a good time and learn a lot along the way.
To those of you new to The Renku Sessions:
Renku is the modern version of the ancient Japanese art of haikai-no-renga, now usually shortened to renga. Renga was first played in the twelfth century by the Japanese nobility, following formal rules of sequencing (for example, a 5-7-5 on verse (kami-no-ku) followed by a 7-7 on verse (shimo-no-ku), but without semantic or content connections with other verses in the sequence. Certain topics (such as the moon, and flowers) were predetermined to appear at specified locations in the poem. Renku varies in complexity according to the experience and skill of the participants. It is actively practiced in Japan with a high degree of sophistication, but in cultures and languages where the form is less established, enforcement of its tenets is generally much less stringent. Like any game, mastery of its fine points heightens the pleasure one receives when accomplishing its goals. Our hope is to create an atmosphere of fun and learning for all our participants. There are several schools of renku, and over time we hope to offer you opportunities to participate in them all.
You can find the previous results from The Renku Sessions here. And you can find some useful information about renku here. Marshall will supply any additional guidelines he favors in his inaugural post.
Welcome back, and we hope you’re ready to renku!