The following solo rengay all appeared in my poetry book, True Colour, published in December of 2014 by the City of Redmond, Washington, as part of my tenure as the city’s poet laureate. Twelve of this art book’s thirteen rengay focus on an individual colour. I had already written the “Blue” rengay in 2001, but the idea occurred to me in July of 2013 to write solo rengay about each primary colour, which expanded to other colours as well. Click the following links to read each rengay. Please also read the book’s introduction, “An Invitation to Rengay,” and its brief tutorial, “How to Write a Rengay.” You can also read blurbs and comments about the book below, and watch a video of me reading from True Colour at the launch reading held in the City of Redmond council chambers on 6 December 2014. Also check out “Seeing Red,” another colour-themed solo rengay that was originally intended to be part of this book. If you might be interested in ordering a copy of True Colour, please contact Michael Dylan Welch. + + +
True Colour is bound in an unusual way, with a screw or pin in the bottom-right corner. This pin lets you fan all the pages out like a painter’s swatch, with abstract colour photos interspersing all the rengay poems. This design came out of a brainstorming meeting I had with Joshua Heim, Redmond arts administrator, and Jessica Rubenacker, Redmond arts coordinator. With our idea in mind, Dan D Shafer of Dandy Design orchestrated the book, using his photographs to alternate with the poems. I’m particularly grateful to Dan for overseeing the book’s design and typography, for his intriguing photographs, and for supervising the printing and production. The book was printed in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies.
Also included with the book was an instruction sheet for hosting a rengay party, writing rengay, and submitting rengay to the Twitter hashtag #redmondrengay or emailing them to the city of Redmond. This invitation sought to engage city residents and visitors in writing linked haiku in the rengay form.
“Michael Dylan Welch weaves the colors of life into a wide-ranging tapestry of surprising juxtapositions. It its celebration of the rengay form, True Colour offers a multihued palette of well-written and well-crafted poems.” —Garry Gay, inventor of the rengay poetry form
“Michael Dylan Welch’s colorful suite of rengay represents the full spectrum of human experience parceled into intimate moments. His concise verses transform images of surprise, humor, sorrow, appreciation, loss, and joy into poignant epiphanies.” —Lana Hechtman Ayers, editor and publisher, MoonPath Press
“I read the whole rainbow—wonderful!” —Pamela Cooper, Montréal, Québec