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.