Rengay

 
This page presents my collaborative poetry in the rengay form, plus essays about the form. Rengay is a six-verse poem usually by two or three writers using a set pattern of three-line and two-line haiku. Unlike renga or renku collaborations, all six poems focus on at least one unifying theme. Having a theme is the most important characteristic of rengay. Garry Gay invented the rengay form in 1992, and together Garry and I wrote the very first one, “Deep Winter,” on 9 August 1992, in Foster City, California. On 18 November 1993, I also wrote the first three-person rengay, with Claire and Patrick Gallagher, in Sunnyvale, California. I later published articles in Frogpond and Woodnotes that first began to popularize rengay, and the form is now written widely in many languages. I believe the first published rengay was Between Storms by Garry Gay and John Thompson, which appeared in Romania in Albatross Volume 2, Number 2, in January of 1993. Since 1995, the Haiku Poets of Northern California has sponsored a rengay contest. I have judged this contest numerous times (including the first one), and have won first prize in the contest seven times (plus second and third prizes, and honourable mentions). In 2014, I published a book of solo rengay, titled True Colour. For more information about rengay, consider reading the following resources and essays (all by me except as indicated), followed by examples of the rengay form by two, three, and six writers. 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. 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

Publishing Rengay

Rengay Markets (good places to publish your rengay)

Essays on Rengay by Others

Collaboration: Exploring Rengay by Ce Rosenow
Rengay: Going Solo by Cherie Hunter Day
Rengay: The Art of Partnering by Carolyn Hall
The Rengay Verse Form by Joan Zimmerman (overview of rengay)
Writing Rengay by Garry Gay (by rengay’s inventor)
The Moment of Awe — an interview with Garry Gay by Udo Wenzel

Historical Rengay

The following are the first rengay written by two and three writers, and the first solo rengay, and then the first rengay to be published. I am not certain when the first six-person rengay was written, but it might have been “Journey in Blue” (unpublished, and not presented here), written 28 April 2002 by Garry Gay, Claire Gallagher, Fay Aoyagi, David Noble, Bruce Kennedy, and Michael Dylan Welch, in Santa Rosa, California.

Deep Winter by Garry Gay and Michael Dylan Welch (1993)
A Rain of Leaves by Donna [later Claire] Gallagher, Pat Gallagher, and Michael Dylan Welch (1993)
Night Rain by Cherie Hunter Day (1995)
Between Storms by John Thompson and Garry Gay (first published rengay, Albatross, January 1993)

First-Prize Winners from HPNC Rengay Contests

These are my rengay that have won first prize in the HPNC rengay contest, which began in 1995. The first six of the following rengay are also available in Six Rengay, a free downloadable flyer available in PDF format on my Trifolds page.

1998: Dying Spark by Rich Krivcher, John Thompson, and Michael Dylan Welch
2000: Cornstalk Twisting by Michael Dylan Welch and Lenard D. Moore
2003: The Hilltop Castle by Michael Dylan Welch and Ikuyo Yoshimura
2005: Inside Passage by Michael Dylan Welch and Dejah Léger
2007: Sixth Sense by Tom Clausen and Michael Dylan Welch
2008: Returning by Michael Dylan Welch and Alice Frampton
2015: Weighing In by Michael Dylan Welch and Sonja Arntzen

True Colour

True Colour is a book of my solo rengay, each featuring a different colour, published in 2014, with photographs and graphic design by Dan D Shafer. Read more about True Colour. Read the book’s introduction, “An Invitation to Rengay,” and its brief tutorial, “How to Write a Rengay.”

Other Solo Rengay

My Winds [acrostic rengay]
Night Flight
True Colour [book of solo rengay; see above]

Two-Person Rengay

All the News with Paul O. Williams
Bending My Ears with Ray Rasmussen
Breadsticks with Connie Donleycott
Breath Clouds with Jocelyn Conway [first publication here]
Caving In with Angela Leuck
Dawn Traces with John Thompson
Don’t Fence Me In with Sheila Sondik
An Earwig’s Grip with Max Verhart
Empty Hammock with John Thompson
Face to Face with Kathabela Wilson
Française des Arts with Colin Stewart Jones
Freezer Burn with Max Verhart
Garden Gifts with elehna de sousa
Getting There with John Stevenson
Going Places with Deborah P Kolodji
Gravestones with Jeff Witkin
Helicopter Seeds with Margaret Chula
Here and There with John Thompson
High Score with Tanya McDonald
Hopscotch in the Park with Paul O. Williams
Idlers in the Gallery with Pamela Miller Ness
Lotus Eaters with Michael McClintock
Mall Walking with David Ash
Meeting with Andrew Riutta
Midnight Feeding with Lana Hechtman Ayers
New England with Garry Gay
Old Spice with Hank Dunlap
On Broadway with Brian Tasker
Rain into River with Tanya McDonald
Recess Bell with Garry Gay
Rolled-Up Trousers with Penny Harter
Seeing the Light with Sonja Arntzen
Singing in the Rain with William Hart
Small Wonders with elehna de sousa
Smart Cars with Tanya McDonald
Skipping Stones with Kenneth Tanemura
So Much Depends with Billie Dee
Spider’s Web with Cathy Drinkwater Better
Starlings Rush with Terry Ann Carter
Taking the Field with Christopher Herold
A Taste of Winter with Elizabeth St Jacques
Taking Turns with Garry Gay
Too Hot to Handle with Christopher Patchel
Torpedo with Tanya McDonald
Touch with Lana Hechtman Ayers [rengay with one-line verses]
True Colors with Paul David Mena
Two Fat Spaniels with Amelia Fielden
Uh-Huh with Lee Gurga
Unfolding Miss July with Jeanne Emrich
Unraveled Cassette with an’ya
Whispered Stories with Garry Gay
A Winter’s Tale with Sarah Welch
Your Turn with Tanya McDonald

Three-Person Rengay

The Bowl He Holds with Randy M. Brooks and Brett B. Bodemer
Branches with Alice Frampton and Richard R. Powell
A Bridge Across with Rich Krivcher and John Thompson
Christmas in the City with Jim Force (Nika) and vincent tripi
Down with Alice Frampton and Vicki McCullough
A Few Loonies with Fay Aoyagi and Garry Gay
For the Birds with Gina Cohen and Nicholas Klacsanzky
Flutters with Susan Constable and Alice Frampton
Hammerhorn Lake with John Thompson and Garry Gay
Hammerhorn Mountain with Garry Gay and John Thompson
The Last Ferry with Penny Harter and Tanya McDonald
Off the Top of Our Heads with Alice Frampton and Connie Donleycott
Prairie Wind with Vicki McCullough and Alice Frampton
Saturday Matinee with Lenard D. Moore and Alice Frampton
Sitting with Richard R. Powell and Marilyn Powell
Spicy Collards with Lenard D. Moore and Alice Frampton
Spiralling Down with Tanya McDonald and Russell McDonald
Swapping Shells with Billie Dee and Tanya McDonald
Thump of a Rose with Billie Dee and Josh Wikoff

Six-Person Rengay

Changing the Guard with Bill Pauly, Charles Trumbull, LeRoy Gorman, Guy Simser, and DeVar Dahl
Harmony with Emiko Miyashita, David Burleigh, Kathleen O’Toole, Garry Gay, and Susan Antolin
On the Dewy Path with Shelley Baker-Gard, Deborah P Kolodji, Kathabela Wilson, Jacquie Pearce, and Angela J. Naccarato
Spiked Punch with David Ash, Christine Nelson, Joy Hendrickson, Vicki McCullough, and Merilyn Peruniak
Transfer with Alegria Imperial, Vicki McCullough, Jessica Tremblay, kjmunro, and Jacquie Pearce