Ever since my long-time on-line haiku friend Cara Holman asked if I wanted to write a rengay with her back in February, I've been hooked! We have since written eight rengay together and all have been published or have been accepted for publication. And I must say we are pretty pleased with ourselves! It's not only great fun, but a really good learning experience, and it's kept me writing through though times when I wasn't otherwise regularly putting pen to paper.
There is something special and unique about writing in this way. It's kind of like a prompt but not quite; it's so much more than that. It's a conversation through time and place (Cara is in America and we write via email), it's a poetic dance that moves me to new heights, it's a wake up call to look deeper into haiku and Nature and relationship. I love it! :)
The first two rengay that I wrote with Cara have just come out in A Hundred Gourds (AHG) and can be read here - The Scent of Pine and Turning a Corner. I still really enjoy reading these two pieces, especially after a break away from them. This was the first time I've been in AHG as I'd never submitted there before. Please check out the publication if it's new to you.
The first rengay that we had published appeared in Aubrie Cox's Yay Words! project, fox dreams. You can read Dream Catcher here. Cara and I have just written another rengay for the new Yay Words! project, which has been accepted by Aubrie. To find out how you can get in on the fun, read Aubrie's latest call for submissions here. I also wrote a rengay with Aubrie last month; my first with a different partner. We will submit this for publication soon, and then I look forward to writing some more!
The biggest rengay task that Cara and I have taken on was to write about our cancer experiences: me with leukaemia and Cara with breast cancer. We came out with a rengay sequence comprised of four rengay that was at times hard to write, but that seemed destined to be written. We are very proud of this work and the places it took us, and are very happy to have it accepted by LYNX: A Journal for Linking Poets for their October 2012 issue.
So what next? In a couple of weeks I will be at the New Zealand Haiku Conference Haiku Festival Aotearoa 2012, where I'm taking the Introduction to Renku workshop with Sandra Simspon. She has just sent through some notes on the form 'junicho' and asked us to write some possible hokku to start us off on the day. And if you're a rengay writer, then don't miss this call for submissions by Michael Dylan Welch for a 20th Anniversary Rengay Anthology. Cara and I will definitely be getting ours submitted! Talk about rengay fever...