Atlas Poetica Special Feature Online Now!

8 January 2018 — Perryville, Maryland, USA
Atlas Poetica’s latest special feature, ’25 Tanka About Arthropods,’ edited and introduced by Grunge, is now available free online at the Atlas Poetica website. Twenty-five tanka and kyoka, one each by twenty-five poets, bring the focus to insects and arachnids, or as they are known colloquially, ‘bugs.’
As editor Grunge notes, humans of every culture have a long and variable relationship with the small things that crawl, swim, or fly on our planet. “Because of these broad yet intertwined relationships between men and invertebrates, I knew I had to pick a likewise broad range of tanka which would not only cover the many types of arthropods but also express humanity’s differing views toward them. I hope that I have succeeded and that this special feature encourages others to take a closer look at the small, savagely beautiful world that exists alongside our own.”
Sample Poems
Anna Cates
inching forward
in his wheelchair
a one-legged vet
exploring the bike trail
yellow butterflies
Tamara K. Walker
imagine if Charlotte
the spinning silvery savior
were a black widow
her hourglass mark
running out of love and time
M. Kei
a street rat
from the rough side—
beneath the tattoos,
a gentle heart that mourns
the death of a cockroach
Tish Davis
while training me
on the meat slicer
the deli worker stops
and gently guides a spider
to the edge of a paper bag
Visit to read ’25 Tanka About Arthropods’ for free.

Leaving the Board of the Tanka Society of America

slow walk
to the mail box
I renew
an old friendship
with time

~Skylark 4.1

My two year term as vice president is over and I decided not to seek another one. I will be volunteering behind the scenes for the TSA, but will no longer be an officer.  I hope to do a bit more writing. It’s been a challenging but rewarding two years.  Thanks to all TSA members for supporting me during these two years.



Important Message From M. Kei

May is Tanka Poetry Month!
Enjoy five line poems in the fifth month!
Two more back issues of Atlas Poetica are now available online at
ATPO 25 features international tanka by poets from 18 countries. Tanka and non-fiction about tanka in English, Japanese, Slovenian, Romanian, Sinhalese, Dutch, and French.
ATPO 26 carries the very important article, ‘Short But Abundant : The 57577 For Your Fine Tuning’ by Japanese tanka poet and translator Ryoh Honda. Honda gives detailed analysis of Japanese techniques and terminology, including details not seen before in English. if you’re serious about tanka, this article is a must-read.
There are more ways to enjoy tanka by Keibooks:
Free reading on your e-device with Amazon Prince / Kindle Unliiited.
Free download of ebook if you purchase a print version through Amazon.
If your e-reader supports text-to-voice, you can listen to Keibooks.
Although we sell very few ebooks, and they’re a lot of work, Keibooks remains committed to publishing affordable ebook versions of all of our titles. The lower cost of the ebook makes them accessible to more readers, especially readers in parts of the world where print books are prohibitively expensive. Text-to-speech enables people with disabilities to enjoy tanka, as well as people who want to listen to tanka while doing something else. Washing the dishes becomes a lot more enjoyable if you can listen to tanka while you do it.
Tanka publishers give a lot to the community. It’s a labor of love, but it isn’t free to us. Please support tanka publishers by purchasing copies of their books. Tanka poetry books make great gifts to libraries and schools, as well as your literary friends. Even people who think they aren’t fans of poetry like these small, accessible poems that awaken them to the specialness of ordinary life.
Visit to read, buy, or gift tanka poetry books in the month of May.
M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica
Publisher, Keibooks

Tanka Society of America Contest!!

Last year we received over 450 entries for the 2016 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest! There are two changes this year that you should be aware of.

First, the submission window (April 1 – May 31) is a month earlier. Please make a note of it.

Second, we are announcing that the judges for this year’s contest are Janet Lynn Davis and James Chessing.

This latter announcement is a change from previous years, and is based on the growing number of societies in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., that name judges before competitions open.

Please read our submission guidelines at

We look forward to receiving your entries!

Tanka Society of America Contest Winners

Dear TSA members and other friends,

The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest. We received 499 entries from poets in 12 countries—another great turnout. Many thanks to our fine judges, Carole MacRury and Laura Maffei, and to all of you who entered. We also would like to extend a special thanks to Lesley Anne Swanson, who prepared the judges’ file.

You can find the winning tanka on the TSA website and in the attachment to this email. We also will celebrate each winning poem on the TSA Facebook page this weekend. Please join us if you can.
Additionally, the complete report with the judges’ comments will be published in the fall 2015 issue of Ribbons as well as later on the website. 

More good news: The TSA officers have decided to hold a drawing this year, as we did in 2014, to show our appreciation for all poets who participated in the contest. If you entered the contest, you will automatically be entered in the drawing. The lucky winner will receive a 2016 TSA membership. Watch for the results!

I am pleased to have the winning poem:

a tree trunk

lost in the shadow

of its branches…

another yes

when I meant to say no