Tanka Origins Editor's Introduction
A couple of quick notes:
If anyone ever finds any errata, feel free to please contact me directly at
Publication certificates for EC tanka only will be sent to you sometime soon, via email to print out.
For this Tanka Origins Second Edition, again I received a multitude of fine submissions, however, some of them were still short mainstream poems and other miscellaneous ersatz forms masquerading
as tanka. As stated in the submission guidelines, I’m only looking to publish quality over quantity, therefore I’ve chosen but a select number of those that met or came close to meeting the criteria. For future editions, I said I would only be accepting just 25 stellar tanka, not on a first-come basis, only based on merit. However, I couldn't completely contain myself and selected a few more this time for publication, and selected four Editor's Choices as well.
At Tanka Origins, it’s not about syllable count; it’s about the rhythm. Therefore, there’s a reason that I center the tanka because not only can the reader hear it, they actually (almost always) are able to visualize that tanka rhythm of short, long, short, long, long. This is one of the main things that separates the tanka genre from short mainstream poetry and other forms.
On this subject, I believe that more attention needs to be paid to the details of the form, the tanka rhythm and fine-tuning by contest judges, not just chosen because someone liked the content. A winning tanka should have both. I feel that experienced tanka judges have the responsibility of choosing well-written tanka for beginners to use as examples for their own writing.
Tanka Origins is a different publication, as an editor, I have included short commentary, which of course,
is always (mho) which may differ from someone else’s, even the authors. In addition, each tanka is presented twice on its own page for readers to contemplate, absorb, and appreciate in-depth every piece equally.
At the close of Tanka Origins, are also included short biographies (in no particular order) so you can get to know the poet/poetess.
All rights revert to the author upon publication, and if your tanka is reprinted anywhere, Tanka Origins must be cited as the first place of publication.
The next submission period opens February 15 - March 15th. Read the details here: