Haiku: imaginary sandcastles/taking a turn with the tides/someone like me - in orange font on a photo of a beach as tide going in/out in dusky yellow brown cloudy skysky Photo©Alan Ranger, Poem©Alan Summers

Shahai – Words in a Landscape


Shahai is a less familiar term than haiga  the traditional pairing of a haiku with a picture, which dates back to the times of early Japanese prints. Shahai is a haiga where the picture is a photographic image, and this modern interpretation creates striking and expressive work!




Thank you for your interest!



Start Date: 1st September 2022  


End Date: Last feedback is Thursday 1st December 2022, with the private participants' gallery and an informal review of updated coursework available through the second week of December 2022.


Level: This course is suitable for any level of experience in photography, from beginners upwards. We have an excellent photography tutor, who can also work at an extremely advanced level, if your photography is already very strong. It's also suitable for beginners and upwards in writing haiku, especially if you come to the sessions with good photography experience already. However, it would help to get the most out of the course if you already have some experience in writing haiku, tanka or very short poetry. Contact us if you would like an introductory poetry session to help you get started.


Format: Asynchronous – participants work on assignments in their own time, according to the course calendar. The feedback is given in writing and displayed alongside the work in the private online galleries.


Equipment Required: You will of course need a camera. We do recommend at least a compact camera, if not a full DSLR camera or similar, but we have had people take part with camera phones, with interesting and worthwhile results!


Likewise, a laptop or desktop computer or a good large tablet will enable you to view your own and others' work more clearly.


No. of Assignments and Feedback: 6


Group Size: up to 8.  


Tutors: Alan Summers (haiku and tanka) and Alan Ranger (photography). The two Alans are both very highly experienced and qualified tutors in their fields. 


Course Description: Shahai is a less familiar term than haiga – the traditional pairing of a haiku with a picture. Shahai is a haiga where the picture is a photographic image.


There are different ways and styles of making shahai, and in this course we concentrate on landscape photography, with the poems added onto the picture, or under it, in graphic text. It's a longer shahai course than we have run before, and that is because the aim is to make a small portfolio of six pieces of work. There is an optional pre-assignment to help guide you in making choices about how your work will come together.


Format: Participants submit a shahai every two weeks. These are added to a dedicated online gallery, which is private to the course participants, where the poetry tutor and the photography tutor will add feedback notes in the intervening weeks. We will have an informal review at the end of the course, where participants can re-upload their work to show each other changes that they might have made after the feedback.


Outcome: By completing this course, you will have six pieces of shahai work, incorporating a haiku, tanka, or short poem, with photography. Participants will also be encouraged to think about printing, framing, or making gifts from their work, for something long-lasting and tangible in addition to presenting on blogs or social media, and submitting to online journals. Perhaps even think about creating a limited edition of prints from your work!


Technicalities: We make participation as straightforward as possible, with a facility to directly upload your shahai work to the course's private pages on the Call of the Page website. However, we will gladly talk this step through with you if you are unused to uploading documents.


Adding text to photographs: A simple and effective way to do this without special software is to use the 'Preview' programme that opens most people's photographs on a screen. There will be an optional session where we will talk this through with a chance to practice in-session.




• Participants may choose to make their shahai with tanka instead of haiku or senryu, or even just very short poetry!


• If you have any other questions about this course, please feel free to contact us.


Full Cost: £360 (approx US$487) Currency update: now approx US$440.16 due to the weaker pound.


Early Bird Cost: £345 (approx US$453) applies until Thursday August 25th. 



What our students say about this course...


Dear Karen, Alison and Alan,

Wonderful to see the gallery - thank you for the effort of creating an 'exhibition space' for each of the artists, it makes a difference.
And special thanks to Alan, your poem crafting mentoring for us all really stayed with me. Looking at the gallery, the reworked poems bring much more meaning to the shahai as a whole.
Ella (2023)


I enjoyed the course very much!...Thanks to both Alans and everyone else for a great course!  

Eve (2022)



By booking you agree to accept our Terms and Conditions. Thank you!


Bookings have now closed for this course. Thank you for interest! 

Shahai – Words in a Landscape
360.00 GBP

A place on the course Shahai – Words in a Landscape, started September 1st 2022. Thank you!

ShahaiWLFeb 2022

What happens next? Participants will receive an introductory email with a link to the course materials on the start date.

Shahai Online FAQs

I've done Shahai at Call of the Page before. Will it be exactly the same?


This is a new course (now in its second running), with an emphasis on landscape, and poetry added with graphic text.


Do I need to be able to log on at a particular time?


No – the sessions run in participants’ own time, with shahai work submitted according to the course calendar. Everyone is notified when there is feedback ready to view, and can read it in their own time.


Can I use my phone camera for this course?


We have had people use smartphone cameras for Shahai previously, but a separate camera is recommended. One immediate advantage is that you can frame the picture more easily and flexibly on a dedicated camera with a zoom.


I don’t have any experience of adding text to photographs, does this matter?


There are ways of adding text without any special software, and there will be advice and guidance on this.

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