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, please read the Top-Five Benefits of TSA Membership and 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

  • Free Drawing for Ribbons Back Issues—Celebrating TSA’s 17th Anniversary To celebrate the 17th anniversary of the Tanka Society of America, which was founded on April 14, 2000, we’re giving away FIVE free back issues of our tanka journal ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2017, 10:42 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • TSA Publications Sale! Want to learn more about tanka? Missing a back issue of Ribbons or a TSA anthology? Want to make your tanka collection more complete? The Tanka Society of America is ...
    Posted Mar 3, 2017, 11:14 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Enter the 2017 TSA Tanka Contest The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce that James Chessing and Janet Lynn Davis will serve as judges for the 2017 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest. This is ...
    Posted Jan 26, 2017, 11:50 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Ripples in the Sand The new TSA annual members’ anthology is now out! Copies are now being sent to members (free with membership). Read more about Ripples in the Sand, edited by Susan Constable ...
    Posted Nov 13, 2016, 1:57 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 2016 Tanka Contest Winners Posted Congratulations to the winners of our 2016 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest. You can now read all the winning poems, with commentary by our judges, Amelia Fielden and M. Kei ...
    Posted Jul 20, 2016, 11:02 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 2016 Members’ Anthology It’s time to submit your tanka for the 2016 TSA members’ anthology! Our submission window runs from July 15 to August 15, 2016, so send your poems in right ...
    Posted Jul 12, 2016, 1:19 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 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
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 52. View more »


2016 Contest Winners

          Judged by Amelia Fielden and M. Kei



          First Place
          I keep telling myself
          that it means don’t cry
          my D&C
          at the doctor’s office
          a routine procedure

                Susan Burch
          Second Place


          Holy Week . . .
          in my Christmas wreath
          two wrens nesting
          as if to remind me
          this house was once our home

                Margaret Dornaus



          Third Place


          the garage
          by rope and rafter
          he left
          and with him
          his reasons

                Ignatius Fay

          Honorable Mentions


                Marion Olson
                Michele L. Harvey

                Michael McClintock

                Catherine Smith

                Claire Everett

          Read more TSA Contest winners.