Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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RENKU: COLLABORATIVE LINKED VERSE
Moira Richards, Editor
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Introduction

What do we mean by Renku?

The term Renga is sometimes used in English to refer to any type of linked verse, although it originally, and correctly, describes the Japanese collaborative linked verse which finds its origins in the medieval period. The modern Japanese term Renku is used to refer to that type of renga written in the style of the Basho school, also known as Haikai no Renga.

What does the Renku Column of Simply Haiku publish?

The Renku Column of Simply Haiku concentrates on the promotion of renku as a specific genre. In addition to the texts of the poems themselves, the column will publish technical articles, commentaries by participants, general queries, and critical appreciations by readers.

While it is our intention to promote both excellence and experimentation, preference will in the first instance be given to poems demonstrating a clear understanding of renku's core structural and aesthetic characteristics.

Poems will therefore be unthemed, employing that progressive compositional dynamic usually described as 'link and shift'. They will typically be the product of a collaboration of authors, written in cognisance of folio or movement (jo-ha-kyu) divisions, and often guided by a lead poet (sabaki). Though an appreciation of the function of seasonal reference is a minimum requirement, the adoption of the Japanese seasonal almanac (saijiki) is not obligatory.

What does the Renku Column of Simply Haiku not publish?

We do not publish themed haiku sequences, such as rengay, gunsaku or rensaku.

Are there additional guidelines?

  • All submissions to Simply Haiku are subject to the general conditions set out in the guidelines.
  • Poems should be in English or English translation. Translations should be accompanied by the original text, which may also be published.
  • By submitting a poem you are confirming that appropriate permission has been obtained from all participants.
  • The inclusion of a tomegaki (sabaki's commentary) and/or one or more kanso (appreciations) by participating poets, is actively encouraged. The full text or extracts may be published.
  • Articles are invited from all readers on all aspects of renku composition. I am happy to consider items that have been published in a print journal and which may not be freely available on the 'net.
  • Readers' comments and queries are invited both on specific aspects of the column's content and on the literary genre in general.
  • Please write 'Renku Column' together with a further identifying name or title in the 'subject' field of all correspondence.
  • I accept and will acknowledge receipt of offers of contributions on an ongoing basis. I will however, only read and make my selections for the February, May, August and November issues during the first week or so of December, March, June and September respectively, during which times you can expect to hear back from me with a decision.

I look forward to hearing from you.

moi


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