Tag Archives: tanka

Honorable Mention in the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018

I have received the wonderful news that my tanka below has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix contest in 2018. What an honor!

season’s end …
by the mountain shrine
wild horses graze
wrapped in fog
and silence

This contest was created by the Fuji Taisho Committee to celebrate Japan’s most famous and revered mountain in the poetic form of tanka. They say:

As the highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji has been a symbol of this country providing spiritual support to the Japanese people since ancient times. Its graceful appearance is often depicted in art, literature, photography and even in company logos. In 2013, Fujisan was added to the World Heritage List as a cultural site by UNESCO. The Fujisan Taisho prize is awarded for the best work of TANKA. It is an initiative to promote the preservation of this magnificent mountain by describing its beauty and charm through TANKA and sharing them with people all over the world. Our hope is to enhance better understanding towards the nature, tradition and culture of Fujisan through which we believe we can develop a better understanding of Japan. Our ultimate aim is to raise more interest in this country and attract more people worldwide towards our culture as well as industry and economy.

Brecon Beacon,

TANKA was invited on / relating to Mt. Fuji: impressions on Mt. Fuji, feelings and emotions experienced while climbing the mountain. It did not have to include the word “Mt. Fuji” as long as the subject was on the mountain or mountains in general.

Grateful thanks to the judges:

Takashi Okai, Judge-in-chief of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Takayuki Saegusa, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Hiroshi Homura, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Naoko Higashi, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018

The awards will be presented at the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix Ceremony on January 26, 2019 at the Nihonbashi Theater in Tokyo. I won’t be able to attend, but I will sure be dreaming about it – and looking forward to the award certificate.

Those familiar with my work will recognize the photo and tanka image as relating to the Brecon Beacons mountain range in Wales.

Tanka in “Bright Stars, Vol. 3”

Pleased to have seven of my tanka appear in Bright Stars, vol. 3, 2014, the organic tanka anthology produced by M. Kei of Atlas Poetica. This is what this anthology is about:

“Bright Stars is devoted to five line poetry—tanka, waka, kyoka, gogyoshi, shaped tanka, tanka sequence, tanka prose, collaborative tanka—any form based on the short, lyrical, five part poem originally from Japan.”


“Bright Stars focuses on the Japanese aesthetic of ‘akarui’ – bright, loud, energetic, urban, exciting, and experimental.”

Here is the Press Release with more information, sample poems, and how to buy this book. I’ve ordered mine!

Poem-A-Day Challenge

This April I am taking part in the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge. Writing one poem each day of the month in addition to my other commitments is going to be tough, but hey, who likes the easy life!

April 1st prompt: beginnings/endings.

Here are my two offerings:
plum blossoms
the beginning of all
how many days
she waits by the window
to the empty street…
waiting for dusk
this unlived life
There are many poetic offerings on the site, and I look forward to reading them and following up on poets. Click here for the link to Day 1.

So, Robert Lee Brewer, bring them on!

Day of the Dead

cemetery pines

whispering among the needles

the gentlest of songs

Margaret Dornaus, poet, writer, and teacher, as well as haiku-doodler in her own words, has put together for the third year running a wonderfully moving collection celebrating the Day of the Dead, also known in Catholic circles as All Saints’ Day. It is a privilege and a treat to be included in it, as well as to read poems by several poet friends from all over the world who answered Margaret’s call.

Visit her post and read the poems. There is a tanka I particularly like, written by Margaret for Hortensia Anderson. I love the thought in it: now Hortensia is dead, Margaret can only know her through the scent of her blooms, her poems.

Happy Halloween!



‘The Silence in my Cell’ and ‘Tin Mug’

I am thrilled to report that:

my short story/flash ‘The Silence in my Cell’ is now online in the May edition of Tuck Magazine. They say it is a MUST read! See what you think. It can be read here

my tanka ‘Tin Mug’ now appears in ‘ars poetica 2′ – newest poems of Poets Online. It can be found on their site here  (This is a bit more complicated to find: go to Archive, click newest poems/ ars poetica 2)

Couplets Update

National Poetry Month 2012 – Update. Taking part in Couplets, the multi-author poetry blog organized by Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books, I was honoured to be featured:

On the 1st of April 2012 at Margaret Dornaus’ wonderful blog ‘haiku-doodle

On the 6th of April 2012, at Angie Werren’s great blog for micropoetry ‘feathers

In the same project, Couplets, 1st of April, I hosted the exquisite poetry of Margaret Dornaus on my own blog. Margaret offered three of her excellent tanka poems.

I also had the pleasure of hosting Lisa Cihlar, whose poetry I love. Lisa wrote a fascinating article about the creation of one of her characters, ‘Swampy Woman.’

There is more to come in the second half of the month. And there are so many good poets taking part in this project! Visit the Couplets site and enjoy! And don’t forget to come back!

Shortlisted tanka news

Delighted and honoured that my tanka was shortlisted for the Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Vol 4.

The anthology series founded by tanka poet and editor, M. Kei, announced the short list for the fourth annual volume (2011) in March 2012. The nine editors headed by M. Kei (USA), Patricia Prime (NZ), Magdalena Dale (RO), Amelia Fielden (AUS), Claire Everett (UK), Owen Bullock (NZ), David Terelinck (AUS), Janick Belleau (CAN), and David Rice (USA), embarked on the amazing feat of reading all tanka published in English during 2011 with the goal of selecting the best individual tanka, kyoka, waka, gogyohka, gogyoshi, tanka sequences, tanka prose, and responsive tanka for inclusion in the annual anthology. The team read approximately eighteen thousand poems to choose about three hundred for inclusion in this, the fourth and final volume in the Take Five series. Well done to the editors and to the poets among us who got selected! I for one am thrilled and hugely encouraged!

The announcement can be read here

Haiku/Tanka! #14 June 2011

Magnolia Exmouth

holding the flag high

they march taller than


the heady aroma

of summer magnolias




Today I read a post about appreciating and writing tanka in Red Dragonfly’s blog. It should have carried a health warning, something like, Read it at your peril: you will be tempted  to write tanka for the rest of your day(s); or, Read and risk tanka obsession! Something like that to warn its readers of adverse effects. My own first reaction was to write my daily haiku – which I write participating in the Facebook community’s NaHaiWriMo project extension – as my first ever tanka! The day’s prompt had been ‘flags.’ I got carried away, you see. Tongue in cheek, I posted it in the NaHaiWriMo facebook site for the good folks there to see! I only hope Melissa doesn’t see my first attempt!

If you like living dangerously though, do read the post about tanka. It is a tanka beginners’ dream: informative and with a number of good links. So, tanka? I’ll try to do that!