About the Renga

The Dundee Renga is a group poem assembled by as many writers based in and around Dundee as would like to take part. Each month, using email, we compile a chain poem according to the principles of the Japanese form. (We’re just using the wiki definition as our model).

The way we do that is: the renga coordinator (currently Bill) posts an initial 3-line poem (hokku) out to our mailing list at the start of each month, and the poets respond over the course of the day with a two line poem which bounces off it in some way.

The coordinator picks one poem out of everything received, then circulates that, and asks for a three-liner by the following evening – and so on, alternating three lines with two throughout. This sort of renga (nijūin) is usually 20 verses long, and we’re aim to do one verse a day throughout the month.

Each renga is built on observations of (and reflections about) Dundee and its surrounding area – we’re pretty broad-minded about how people do that. Also, we’re not especially bothered about counting syllables, but we certainly respect it if the poets are. Finally, you don’t have to send something every day if nothing strikes you for that day. (Or even that week!)

Here’s a couple of sites (there are lots of others) which go further into the technicalities of renga and haiku:

renga-platform | Renga.pdf

If you’d like to take part in the Dundee renga, please contact us.