Rengay Essays

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS: 30th Anniversary Rengay Anthology


This page presents essays focused on learning and appreciating the rengay form (all essays by Michael Dylan Welch except as indicated). Rengay is a six-verse poetic collaboration usually by two or three writers using a set pattern of three-line and two-line haiku, invented by Garry Gay in 1992. Read more about the form and its origin on the About Rengay page. For details about the context in which rengay was invented, please read “Japanese Renku Group Visits San Francisco” (includes a new postscript about rengay). See also “Finding Your Paths,” my introduction to Ancient Bloodlines, a book of rengay by Simon Hanson and Ron C. Moss. For renku and other collaborative writing, please see the Collaborations page on my Graceguts website. See also the Rengay page I run on Facebook.       +       +       +       +


If you have any comments or questions about rengay, please contact Michael Dylan Welch.

Learning Rengay

Studying Rengay

Publishing Rengay

Essays on Rengay by Others

Historical Rengay

The following are the first rengay written by one, two, three, and six writers, and the first published rengay, presented in chronological order of composition.

Historical note: In late 1997 or perhaps 1998, Lewis Sanders started what he called Winter Withering, subtitled as “a rengay newsletter.” Each of the two issues was eight pages, stapled in the corner, and published out of Jackson, Tennessee. Both issues offered just three rengay that Sanders had written with Carl Brennan (thus, just six rengay in total), plus an advertisement and order form for Beyond/Within: A Collection of Rengay by eight women poets, published in 1997 by Cherie Hunter Day. If this effort had been sustained, and if hadn’t included only rengay that the editor cowrote, this publication could be considered the first rengay journal, but at best it may be considered only a private attempt. The second issue included a statement saying this “newsletter of rengay and haiku” would “be published as time, submissions and funding allow.” It seemed that none of those conditions allowed, and so, regrettably, Winter Withering did indeed wither. The first true journal for rengay was thus Tandem, edited by Marcyn Del Clements, Seren Fargo, and Ignatius Fay, with the first issue published in April of 2021.

Vital trivia: Did you know that there’s a restaurant in North Sydney, Australia called Rengaya? It serves traditional Japanese yakiniku dishes (barbecued meat), and opened in 1993, a year after the first rengay was written. I think I need to go there with five good friends to write a six-person barbecue-themed rengay.