1 November 1992 HPNC Meeting
On Sunday, November 1, 1992, the Haiku Poets of Northern California met at Nichi Bei Kai in San Francisco’s Japantown for their autumn gathering. Nineteen poets attended. . . .
For the presentation, Michael Dylan Welch, Paul O. Williams, and Lequita Vance discussed their responses to the state of English-language renku. Their primary point was for renku/renga to evolve into its own terms through the practice of linking verses in a contemporary western context. Michael spoke on letting go of attachment to Japanese rules that don’t appeal to or even make sense for Western writers. Paul shared a handout suggesting alternatives for linked verse based on traditional English forms. Lequita spoke eloquently for creating new forms that are not only fun to participate in but which will have literary merit. Michael read a paper by Jane Reichhold in which she gave a history of the linked verse forms in Japan and summed up much of the feelings left after the Renku North America group attempted to teach us the “right” way to do renku. Michael also presented Garry Gay’s response to renku, his own creation, the “rengay”—a six-link piece written on a single topic by two participants. John Thompson read an especially pleasing example that he and Garry had produced. The meeting ended at about 4:30 p.m. Eight of the poets remained to have dinner together and, in pairs, composed several “rengay” and one series of rhymed linked couplets.