Friday, September 11, 2015


Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego & Eileen R. Tabios introduce THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT
(Meritage Press / xPress(ed), San Francisco & St. Helena / Finland, 2012)


The hay(na)ku's swift popularity would not have been possible without internet-based communication.  With the internet's capacity for engendering collaborations, it was inevitable that a collaborative hay(na)ku project  such as THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU would arise.  It, of course, was fitting that THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU began with an invitation from a blog.  On June 24, 2007, an invitation was posted on for poets to participate in hay(na)ku collaborations. 

Nearly a hundred poets from around the world responded to our invitation. The curators are delighted and grateful to present their collaborations.  Given the nature of collaborations, a selection of notes and thoughts about the collaborative process follow the section of poems.  These notes/thoughts include two of the many conversations among the curators themselves and which they had shared on the blog as one of the many possibilities of what can happen when one exposes one’s self to being part of a group.

The original invitation is as follows:


by Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego, and Eileen Tabios
to participate in

As authors of single-author poetry hay(na)ku collections, we invite you to collaborate with others to create “chained hay(na)ku” — a poem based on the hay(na)ku poetic form and created by multiple authors (at least three individual authors). Information on the hay(na)ku form are available,, and
For a sample of the Chained Hay(na)ku, you can see our collaborative poem, “Four Skin Confessions” ( The poem was written in May 2007 by email, spanning the time zones of London, Cardiff, and California.

In addition to the poem, facets of the “Conversation” between the four poets as they collaborated together for the first time are presented here. Currently up on the blog are the conversational topics of “Is the Poem Finished?” and “What to Title the Poem.” Other aspects of the Conversation may be presented in the future to share how a group of first-time collaborators created a poem.

We now invite other poets to collaborate with others in creating other chained hay(na)ku. Authors can then contribute their collaborations (including excerpts from such collaborations) for possible publication, which Meritage Press will release as either a journal, anthology, or hand-made limited edition (the final format will depend on the nature of and number of contributions).

Collaborations need not be only in verse form. Visual poetry is welcome, as long as the collaborators number at least three and realize that reproduction is likely to be in black-and-white.

Email Contributions (and queries) to: MeritagePress @ AOL dot com

Deadline for Contributions: January 31, 2008
Why not get together with others (at least three poets please) and chain together a hay(na)ku? It’s a poetic form that has always been intended to be an Invitation!

All Best,

Ivy Alvarez, author of 1 DOZ. POISON HAY(NA)KU (Big Game Books, 2007)
John Bloomberg-Rissman, author of OTAGES (Bamboo Books, 2006) and NO SOUNDS OF MY OWN MAKING (Leafe Press, 2007)
Ernesto Priego, author of NOT EVEN DOGS (Meritage Press, 2006)
Eileen Tabios, author of THE SINGER And Others (Dusie, 2007)

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