Introduction to Writing Japanese Poetry

This was a four-week workshop via email, from 11 September through 6 October 2017, Introduction to Writing Japanese Poetry, offered by Naomi Beth Wakan. It centered on learning about and writing haiku (two weeks), and then tanka.

I found it to be professional, interesting, and informative. I received constructive feedback on and suggestions for the haiku and tanka (three poems each week) that I emailed to her on Fridays. The handouts and reading assignments were good and continue to be helpful as I return to them for review and further exploration.


  • Naomi Beth Wakan’s Website:
  • Essays on Michael Dylan Welch’s Website:
  • Books by Naomi Wakan: Haiku: 1-Breath Poetry and The Way of Tanka (available new in softcover from Shanti Arts). Wakan has written many books. These are the two that I tracked down beforehand to read after I’d taken her workshop.

The tanka practice in week three of the workshop continued. This is one of the practice poems that I don’t think I submitted to the workshop leader. Just describing the scene, but:

shadow leaves
brown on bright petals
celebrate color

poppy flowers bask
in the summer sun

Copyright © 2017-09-27, by Elizabeth Wicker Bennefeld.