International Rengay Gathering: The Origin
I first discovered rengay at the end of 2020 when I encountered the rengay book Ancient Bloodlines by Simon Hanson and Ron C. Moss. I was new to haiku writing and was particularly impressed with the artworks by Ron, and all the wonderful linked poems.
Then I wrote my first rengay online with Russian haiku poet friend Nikolay Grankin at the end of April 2021 and within a week, I got invited by Jay Friedenberg, who was at the time the president of HSA (Haiku Society of America) to present a rengay workshop at the June 2021 HSA Virtual Conference! I have only been writing poetry for about a year at the time but took the challenge anyway. I am glad I did, because within about a month I have written rengay with 50 poets around the world to prepare for this workshop. And thanks to my moderator, the late Ignatius Fay (editor of the first Rengay Journal 'Tandem'), I had not only successfully delivered my presentation 'Back and Forth: the Rengay Revolution' with about 200 people attending this rengay workshop, but also published an article Rengay Magic at the July 2021 HSA Newsletter. For this occasion Jessica Tremblay (Canada) from Old Pond Comics also kindly offered a new comic! And that was my very first experience of speaking in front of that many people or leading a poetry workshop online.
Later that year, during a long Auckland Covid lockdown (September 2021), my youngest daughter Zoe (who has come on this poetry writing journey with me since the beginning) started Chalk on the Walk Haiku, Chalk on the Walk Monoku, followed by the First International Rengay Gathering, origainlly to celebrate Moon Festival. We then decided that it's a good excuse to meet our friends online regularly, so we host the gathering twice a year in March/April and September/October, and each time on a Sunday with two sessions, AM session to accommodate mostly the friends in the USA and PM session to accommodate our Asian and European friends. We've had guest speakers such as Garry Gay (USA), Kala Ramesh (India), Deborah P Kolodji (USA), Ron C. Moss (Australia), Michael Dylan Welch (USA), Bryan Rickert (USA) and Keith Evetts (UK). I was also very lucky to have received the first place with my co-writer Alan Peat (UK) at the 2021 Otoroshi Rengay Contest with our rengay Departure.
I have been very lucky to be to make friends and write rengay with many of the leading haiku poets of today around the world, and have promoted this wonderful poetry form invented by dear friend Garry Gay (USA) by hosting these International Rengay Gatherings with little Zoe. We hope more poets around the world join us and our mailing list, to write and have fun making new friends while sharpening their writing skills!
Zoe and I started a new journal Raining Rengay in 2023. It is published twice a year in April and October. For more submission information, visit
Whenever we can we publish rengay at our youth journal Haiku Zoo Journal too, if all the participating poets are aged 20 or under.
To sign up to the International Rengay Gathering mailing list, simply email Sherry at rainingrengay(at)gmail.com [Note: please replace (at) with (@) ]
Also we love publishing poetry in translation to non-English languages!
(Sherry Grant, 2023-09-04)
After that I wrote more rengay with my mum because it's a lot of fun and we always come up with crazy ideas.
From September 2021 I started writing 3-person rengay with my mum and another friend when we decided to host on Zoom the First International Rengay Gathering which we called Rengay Under the Moon, to celebrarte the Chinese Moon Festival. We even brought moon cakes to enjoy with our poet friends online.
The very first 3-person rengay I wrote, Sapphire Moon, was with my mum and Ron C. Moss from Tasmania. It was later published in Bamboo Hut Journal Issue Number 3, 2021 with four other rengay mum and I wrote with the inventor of rengay Garry Gay (USA), Richa Sharma (India), Nikolay Grankin (Russia) and Sandi Pray (USA). The Haiku Foundation also published my rengay video with Ron called Waterblaster.
I love meeting my poet friends although they are all older than me. I hope to get more kids my age writing haiku on their own and also write rengay together. It's so much fun and totally addictive!
(Zoe Grant, 2023-09-04)
Dessert Time (No.1, 2021-05-22)
By Zoe Grant (NZ) & Sherry Grant (NZ), included at Sherry's 2021 HSA Virtual Conference Presentation
and thousands of
giant marshmallows melt
in hot chocolate bath
baby cries —
countless fruits erupt
flipping a pancake
visits by rainbow —
my birthday cake
Sapphire Moon (2021-09-10)
a 3-person rengay by Zoe Grant (NZ), Sherry Grant (NZ) & Ron C. Moss (Australia), Op.2465, published @ Bamboo Hut Journal, Number 3, 2021
rainbow ice cream
a unicorn sneaks
into my kitchen
hide and seek
firebird turns into ash
with angel dust
paper scissors rock
a baby devil
a kiwi bird named skip
learns to fly
a rengay (Op.2401)
by Alan Peat (UK) and Sherry Grant (NZ), first pace winner at 2021 Otoroshi Rengay Contest
sudden chill —
on the bonfire
empty bleach bottles
still this stubborn stain
bagged clothes —
so many names
on his passports
in a suitcase
bits and pieces
without a blink
Very happy to announce that the 5th International Rengay Gathering is just around the corner!
Zoe and I have invited Kathabela Wilson (USA) as guest speaker of the AM session and Gilles Fabre (Ireland) as guest speaker for the PM session.
Date: Sunday, 1 October 2023
Time: 9-11am (AM session) & 7-9pm (PM session), both NZ time
(Note: NZ time is ahead of most time zones, please convert to your own regional time)
Kathabela Wilson is an independent artist, freelance writer and poet residing in Pasadena, California. She is the author of several haiku and tanka chapbooks and also the creator and leader of Poets on Site, a writing and poetry performance group that meets regularly (on Zoom since the pandemic). Together with her husband, Rick Wilson, emeritus professor of Mathematics at Caltech and player of historical flutes of the world, Kathabela has hosted collaborative poetry performances of haiku and tanka at conferences and in museums, galleries and gardens. Kathabela is haiku editor of the Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology for the second year in a row. Last year, Red Paper Parasols won recognition at the Los Angeles Book Fair. In addition to receiving recognition in major haiku and senryu competitions, Wilson was 1st Place winner of the 2017 Fujisan Taisho Tanka Contest and the 2017 Dwarf Stars Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She has served as secretary of the Tanka Society of America since 2013, is coordinator of the YTHS Tokutomi Contest 2020–2023, and editor of the Poets’ Salon for the Colorado Boulevard website.
Gilles Fabre is a French national, living in Ireland. His haiku have won awards and been published in Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, India, Japan, the USA and Canada in English, and France and Canada in French. He has also been published in Japanese and Portuguese. His second haiku collection along the way, a search for the spirit of the world was selected by The Haiku Foundation for the Touchstone Award Short List (2020). He is the founder of seashores, an international journal to share the spirit of haiku (haikuspirit.org).
For Gilles, the way and practice of haiku, bringing us closer, and sometimes taking us back, to the source, with its power to connect us to nature and reality, has a role to play in poetry and in our life in general. Haiku can help us having a better relation to the world we need to respect and protect
The 4th International Rengay Gathering took place on 16th April 2023, with guest speakers Bryan Rickert (USA/AM session) and Keith Evetts (UK/PM session) giving a short presentation each. We had about 12-20 poets in attendance.
Sherry is currently editing the videos of theses talks from the past IRGs and hope to upload them here in the near future.
The 3rd International Rengay Gathering took place on 23rd October 2022, with guest speakers Michael Dylan Welch (USA/AM session) and Myron Lysenko (Australia/PM session). Unfortunately Myron did not attend... The participants mostly wrote 6-person rengay, and many poems written during this gathering were published at the first issue of Raining Rengay.
The 2nd International Rengay Gathering took place on 3rd April 2022, with guest speakers Deborah P Kolodji (USA/AM session) and Ron C. Moss (Australia/PM session). We all had a lot of fun writing new rengay together.
The 1st International Rengay Gathering (initially called 'Rengay Under the Moon' took place on 19th September 2021, with guest speakers Garry Gay (USA/AM session), inventer of rengay form and Kala Ramesh (India/PM session). This was the first ever online rengay gathering Zoe and Sherry hosted. Many poets attended from around the world and we shared moon cakes on Zoom.
The first issue of Raining Rengay (edited by Zoe & Sherry Grant was published in April 2023. International softback copies and ebooks will be available soon for online ordering.
To read RR, please visit www.rainingrengay.wordpress.com