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Sharing Haiku & Renga

Renga is 1,000 year old Japanese form of shared writing. This website is dedicated to contemporary renga and extensions of the renga poetic form. It was conceived and is maintained by Alec Finlay.

Renga is an art of time and space as well as words and images. Many of the renga days we have presented took place on the renga platform; a temporary wooden structure conceived by Alec, so that people could sit, listen, write and read renga together.

On this website you can read examples of the most popular modern short renga form, the nijuuin (20 verses), which we write over the course of a day; as well as examples of hyakuin (100 verses), some of which were composed at twenty four hour renga performances (BALTIC, Gateshead; Tramway, Glasgow; and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton).

The Renga Platform at Dawyck Botanical garden, Scottish Borders

The renga platform is now permanently based at Langley (Northumbria). Alec has also constructed a permanent woodland platform for the hidden gardens (tramway, Glasgow).

Recently Alec has developed the importance of the schema in renga – the verse themes – composing renga word maps. These describe a particular place and community: a leadmine in the North Pennines, a housing estate in Birmingham.

Among the renga masters who feature here are: Alec, Linda France, Gerry Loose, Subhadassi, Ken Cockburn and Paul Conneally and Andrew Schelling. The poems are from the British Isles, Czech Republic and United States.

If you would like to take part a good way to start is by buying a copy of our two guide books, Verse Chain and Shared Writing. These will give you all the information you need in order to organise your own renga day, as well as many examples of nijuuin and hyakuin renga.

For more information contact alecfinlay@yahoo.com. Click here to view some links.

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