The StAnza Renga

Friday 29 January 2021

StAnza is thrilled to be pairing up with the Dundee Renga to create a collaborative poem in the run-up to StAnza 2021.

The StAnza Renga will be a chain poem compiled over the magic that is email from 8 – 28 February. There’s space for up to 30 writers to take part and places will be granted on a first come, first serve basis. We’ll be creating the poem according to the principles of the Japanese renga.

(We’re just using the wiki definition as our model. We’re not too strict about counting syllables, but if you want to go so then of course go ahead! We’ll be sharing information and resources about the form of the renga on StAnza’s social media throughout February.)

Wondering how it works? Bill Herbert, poet and the brains behind the Dundee Renga, will email an initial three-line poem (hokku) out to the group at the start of each month, and participants can respond over the course of the day with a two-line poem which bounces off this initial three lines in some way.

Bill will then pick a poem out of those he’s received and circulate that, asking for a three-liner by the following evening – and so on, alternating three lines with two throughout. This sort of renga (nijūin) is usually twenty verses long, and we’re aim to do one verse a day over the twenty-day period. Don’t worry, you don’t have to send something every day if nothing strikes you for that day.

We’ll be sharing the Renga online at intervals as it grows, and the final poem will be published on StAnza’s website for the duration of the festival as well as on the Dundee Renga website.

Interested in taking part? Get in touch at!