tanka time . . .

reminding myself
never to grow bitter . . .
after the storm,
see how the peonies
kowtow to kiss the ground?

Ribbons 10.3, Fall 2014

The newest edition of the Tanka Society of America’s Ribbons arrived in my mailbox today. As always, this triannual journal is filled with wonderful examples of the five-line form written by a diverse group of international tanka poets, as well as essays and book reviews. For me, this issue is a pivotal one since I have been asked to replace Angela Leuck, who is stepping down as Ribbons’ Book Review Editor to concentrate more on her own writing. Although a daunting task, I am honored and eager to take up the challenge and look forward to responding to both anthologies and individual collections of tanka as thoughtfully as I can.

I stumbled upon the tanka form four years ago after seeing a submission call for Moonbathing, a journal that specializes in showcasing contemporary tanka written exclusively by women. Intrigued, I immediately began researching “how to” write the form and was delighted when my first tanka was accepted for publication by the journal’s editor, tanka poet Pamela Babusci. Shortly afterward, I had a string of tanka accepted by another of the tanka world’s leading publishers, M. Kei, the editor of Atlas Poetica.

To say I was thrilled by those early acceptances is an understatement. I was off and running. I felt I’d found my voice through a five-line form that has a long, lyrical history with the capacity of fusing elements of the best Eastern and Western poetic traditions. In the process I’ve discovered an amazing community of writers that I respect and admire. I am humbled to be in their warm company, and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead as I continue my tanka journey with friends old and new.


About Margaret Dornaus

I’m a writer and a teacher, as well as a haiku-doodler. I live in a beautiful woodland setting, surrounded by native oak forests, that inspires me to record haiku snapshots of luna moths and our resident roadrunner, and even an occasional black bear as it hightails it across the top of my road, my mongrel dog barking at its heels as I watch with wonder. My work as a travel writer has appeared in publications from The Dallas Morning News to the Robb Report. You can find examples of my travel writing–as well as excerpts from a travel memoir I’m working on–at my other WordPress site, Travelin’ On. What more than that do you need to know? Only that I started this blog with an eye toward collaboration. Got a haiku? Send it my way. . . . I’m all about new visions & voices. Best, Margaret
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4 Responses to tanka time . . .

  1. Adelaide says:

    Congratulations on your new position.

    About your tanka: It’s all in the way we look at things, isn’t it?

  2. Mary says:

    Lovely tanka- a beautiful image, thought. And congratulations on becoming Ribbons book reviewer.
    You’ll be great! This is a wonderful publication. And isn’t the anthology beautiful?

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