How to Renku

With so many people around the planet huddling in their homes these days to wait out the coronavirus pandemic, many are hungry for ways to connect with friends and to exercise their creativity. Performing the Japanese art of linked verse—originally called renga (today most commonly called renku)—is an excellent way for making both of these things happen at the same time. Through communication tools (Messenger, Skype, Line . . .) or social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter . . .) you can link up with one or several friends and spend a few hours making a renku. Designed as a Buddhist ritual to impart peace of mind in troubled times, renku seems almost tailor-made for our world today.

The only problem is that the rules can seem daunting, and there's not a simple, step-by-step guide that would allow non-experts to just jump in and DO it . . . that is, not till now. This website invites you to plunge immediately into the process, whatever your former acquaintance with renku has been. There will be links for deeper understanding of renku's purpose and rules, but click those only if the spirit moves you. This website will guide you and your friends through a twenty-verse session so that, when you've finished it, I hope you'll all be cheering, "WE did it!" And, I hope, you'll be feeling that your time was well spent, creating a thing of beauty and maybe even wisdom. —David G. Lanoue


a sample renku