Rengay Essays

This page presents essays focused on learning and appreciating the rengay form (all essays by me except as indicated)Rengay is a six-verse poem usually by two or three writers using a set pattern of three-line and two-line haiku, invented by Garry Gay in 1992. Read more about the form and its origin on the Rengay page. For details about the context in which rengay was invented, please read “Japanese Renku Group Visits San Francisco” (includes a new postscript about rengay). See also “Finding Your Paths, my introduction to Ancient Bloodlines, a book of rengay by Simon Hanson and Ron C. Moss. For renku and other collaborative writing, please see the Collaborations page. See also the Rengay page I run on Facebook.       +       +       +       +
If you have any comments or questions about rengay, please contact Michael Dylan Welch.

Learning Rengay

Publishing Rengay

How to Present a Rengay (layout and attribution considerations)
Rengay Markets (good places to publish your rengay)
Linked Verse Courtesies: Seven Proposed Rules of Conduct (ethics and best practices for poetic collaboration)

Essays on Rengay by Others (arranged chronologically)

Rengay: Going Solo by Cherie Hunter Day, 1995
Collaboration: Exploring Rengay by Ce Rosenow, 1997
Beyond/Within: A Review by Margaret Chula, 2000
The Rengay Verse Form by Joan Zimmerman, 2002 (overview of rengay)
Rengay by Garry Gay, 2003 (by rengay’s inventor, from In Good Company)
Rengay: A Journey into Symbiotic Poetry by Deborah P Kolodji, 2004
The Rengay / Das Rengay by Gerd Börner, 2006 (in English and German)
From Scifaiku to Rengay by Deborah P Kolodji, 2006
The Moment of Awe interview with Garry Gay by Udo Wenzel, 2006
Writing Rengay by Garry Gay, 2006 (an expansion of the In Good Company essay of 2003)
Rengay: The Art of Partnering by Carolyn Hall, 2007
Rengay by Garry Gay, 2011 (from Lighting the Global Lantern)
Rengay Afterword by Marleen Hulst and Bouwe Brouwer, 2012 (in English and Dutch)
Rengay by Garry Gay, 2020 (short overview)

Note: If you know of other essays about rengay that could be added, please let me know.

Historical Rengay

The following are the first rengay written by one, two, three, and six writers, and the first published rengay, presented in chronological order of composition.

Deep Winter by Garry Gay and Michael Dylan Welch (first two-person rengay, 1992)
A Rain of Leaves by Donna [later Claire] Gallagher, Pat Gallagher, and Michael Dylan Welch (first three-person rengay, 1993)
Between Storms by John Thompson and Garry Gay (first published rengay, Albatross, January 1993)
Night Rain by Cherie Hunter Day (first solo rengay, 1995)
Journey in Blue by Garry Gay, Claire Gallagher, Fay Aoyagi, David Noble, Bruce Kennedy, and Michael Dylan Welch (first six-person rengay, 2002)

Historical note: In late 1997 or perhaps 1998, Lewis Sanders started what he called Winter Withering, subtitled as “a rengay newsletter.” Each of the two issues was eight pages, stapled in the corner, and published out of Jackson, Tennessee. Both issues offered just three rengay that Sanders had written with Carl Brennan (thus, just six rengay in total), plus an advertisement and order form for Beyond/Within: A Collection of Rengay by eight women poets, published in 1997 by Cherie Hunter Day. If this effort had been sustained, and if hadn’t included only rengay that the editor cowrote, this publication could be considered the first rengay journal, but at best it may be considered only a private attempt. The second issue included a statement saying this “newsletter of rengay and haiku” would “be published as time, submissions and funding allow.” It seemed that none of those conditions allowed, and so, regrettably, Winter Withering did indeed wither. The first true journal for rengay thus was Tandem, edited by Marcyn Del Clements, Seren Fargo, and Ignatius Fay, with the first issue published in April of 2021.