Tanka Society of America

Welcome to the Tanka Society of America website. Here you can learn more about the society, its activities, and membership benefits. You can also learn more about our journal, Ribbons, our annual tanka contest, and our membership anthologies. If you’re not already a member, we invite you to read Top-Five Benefits of TSA Membership and to JOIN OR RENEW TODAY.

Tanka poetry has a history of more than 1,300 years in Japan and 100 years in English. Originally written in the Japanese Imperial court, when it was known as waka, tanka has grown to be a worldwide genre of poetry written in English on a variety of topics, usually in five lines. Join fellow members of the Tanka Society of America, founded in 2000, in discovering, sharing, studying, and appreciating this vibrant genre of English-language poetry.


Please also visit our Facebook page.

TSA News

  • Tanka Prose Contest Commentary Just added to the results of our 2015 Tanka Prose Contest is all the commentary from the judge, Bob Lucky. Thanks once again to Bob for judging this contest, and ...
    Posted May 24, 2016, 2:04 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • New Officer Bios Another welcome to our two TSA new officers, Marilyn Shoemaker Hazelton and Ken Slaughter. Their bios are now online, complete with contact information, photos, and three sample tanka. Please take ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2016, 3:08 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Ribbons Now Welcomes Tanka Prose Starting with the 2016 spring/summer issue, Ribbons will accept tanka prose—which is somewhat like haibun, but prose with tanka instead of haiku. You can submit one piece per ...
    Posted Apr 19, 2016, 7:50 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Goldstein Tanka Contest Commentary Just added to the 2015 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest Winners page are comments from the two judges, Carole MacRury and Laura Maffei. These comments also appeared in the TSA ...
    Posted Jan 19, 2016, 9:39 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Calendar Updated for 2016 The TSA event calendar for 2016 has now been added. More activities will be added as soon as they’re confirmed. Here’s to a great year for writing and ...
    Posted Jan 7, 2016, 10:57 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • New Officers for 2016 The Tanka Society of America welcomes two new officers in 2016. Marilyn Hazelton is our new president, taking over from Margaret Chula, and Kenneth Slaughter is our new vice president ...
    Posted Jan 5, 2016, 8:08 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Tanka Prose Contest Winners Announced The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its first-ever tanka prose contest, held this fifteenth-anniversary year, 2015:First Place: Urszula Funnell (UK), “Checkmate ...
    Posted Dec 18, 2015, 5:49 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Spent Blossoms: TSA 2015 Members’ Anthology The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce that its 2015 members’ anthology, Spent Blossoms, is now available to order online. Copies are $10 plus shipping and handling. All ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2015, 5:51 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Tanka Sunday Group Photo Tanka Sunday was an enormous success, featuring numerous presenters and performers. This group photo, by Michael Dylan Welch, shows most participants. Thanks to everyone who attended, and to all our ...
    Posted Oct 21, 2015, 8:53 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Drawing Winner Announced For the second year in a row, Tanka Society of America officers decided to hold a drawing for all poets who entered the annual tanka contest (renamed this year as ...
    Posted Aug 17, 2015, 9:27 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 46. View more »


2015 Contest Winners

          Judged by Carole MacRury and Laura Maffei



          First Place
          a tree trunk
          lost in the shadow
          of its branches . . .
          another yes
          when I meant to say no

                Ken Slaughter
          Second Place


          table to table
          the smile
          of the waitress
          never stops
          working its wings

                José Angel Araguz



          Third Place


          getting old—
          in the fridge
          the pickle jar
          neither one of us
          can open

                Susan Burch

          Honorable Mentions


                Dawn Manning
                David Terelinck

                Ken Slaughter

                James Chessing

                Ken Slaughter

          Read more TSA Contest winners.