"Twelfth Night—A Nijuin Renku"
Diana Webb, Leatherhead, England
Frank Williams, London, England
Judging renku is different from judging other kinds of poetry. The judges must take into consideration not only the poet- ic value of each link, but also, and often more importantly, how the members of the group interact with each other across links, in addition to how they do or don’t (usually with good reason) follow the format’s many traditions and rules.
This year’s submissions were interesting and exciting in all those ways, and included both traditional and contemporary formats that included many delightful links. We would like to thank all the participants for the opportunity to read their work.
While the winning renku is a fairly traditional Nijuin, that was not the reason we chose it. We felt a strong, playful rapport between the poets, started nicely in the hokku and wakiku, and then carried throughout the remainder of the verses. There were a good variety of voices and tones, some nice seasonal runs, and a pleasant expanse of topics. After careful examination and discussion of all the submissions we have decided to award the First Prize to "Twelfth Night" by Frank Williams and Diana Webb. Our congratulations to the winners!