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Renku Teaches Haiku

posted Dec 14, 2014, 11:01 AM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Jan 8, 2015, 8:15 PM ]
Haiku poetry evolved from the hokku, or starting verse, of a linked form of collaborative poetry called renga, later called renku. I’ve always felt it was helpful for haiku poets to be experienced at renku in order to develop the skill of responsiveness in writing. The ability to write spontaneously in response to a previous poem in renku is exactly the same skill needed to write in response to personal experience in everyday life. Practice at one helps with the other. To see four renku I participated in at the 2008 and 2009 Haiku Canada conferences, events at which renku is always a late-night staple, please see “Crows Return,” “Gold Leaf,” “Pine Needle,” and “Swaying” on the Collaborations page.