Renga – or ‘linked verse’ – is a collaborative poetic form which originated in Japan almost a thousand years ago. In August 2008 writer and artist Alec Finlay introduced writers in Orkney to the 20 verse nijuin renga during a day-long session at the Pier Arts Centre.
The event was organised by poet Alison Flett who went on to lead monthly renga sessions attended by a wide variety of writers over a period of several years.
Pam Beasant soon introduced renga to the programme of the Orkney Writers’ Course which was inaugurated in 2011 as part of the the annual St Magnus International Festival.
The GMB Fellowship has also contributed renga sessions led by writer Yvonne Gray to the Orkney Nature Festival 2016 and 2017; to the Orkney Book Festival 2017; to the Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre summer programme 2018; and to Margaret Tait 100 as well as to other events and celebrations.
If you would like to join in a renga session, email Yvonne Gray at the address below. No experience needed; you are welcome to come and join in for a session (usually around 5 hours with a break in the middle), or just part of one if you would prefer.