The Metro West Renku Association

Paul David Mena, Raffael de Gruttola, and Brett Peruzzi

Paul, Raffael, and Brett formed the Metro West Renku Association (MWRA) in 1999. Renku is a form of Japanese linked verse written by groups of poets, based on certain common themes. The more well-known form of Japanese poetry, haiku, emerged from the renku form.

Each widely-published haiku poets, the trio began to experiment and adapt the renku form to American aesthetics. As both fans and musicians familiar with various types of blues-based music, they created a uniquely American renku form called bluenotes, based on the twelve-bar blues musical form.

The MWRA has published its renku in many leading poetry journals, and performs its work at various venues in the Boston area, accompanied by a slide show of thematically related photographs by Paul’s wife Mary Melodee Mena. The group’s performances are also sometimes accompanied by live blues performed by local musicians.

Future projects include a chapbook and audio CD of their unique form of performance poetry.

To give you a taste of the MetroWest Renku Association’s live readings with blues accompaniment, we’ve created a studio version of one of our renku entitled those country blues featuring Tomas de Camino on guitar and Brett Peruzzi on harmonica.

For more information, contact Brett Peruzzi at

Click here for some bluenotes samples.

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