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

  • 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
  • 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
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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.