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, preserving, and appreciating this vibrant genre of English-language poetry.


Please also visit our Facebook page.

TSA News

  • Happy New Year, Tanka Society of America! 明けましておめでとう。 To kick off the new year, which is also the Tanka Society of America’s 20th anniversary year, the society is pleased to share a short new video featuring ...
    Posted Jan 1, 2020, 12:08 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • TSA Election Results The Tanka Society of America is pleased to report that the following people have been elected or reelected as officers for the 2020–2021 term: President: Michael Dylan Welch Vice ...
    Posted Nov 24, 2019, 5:02 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • New Ribbons Editor The Tanka Society of America thanks David Rice for his eight years of service as editor of the society's journal, Ribbons. He has announced that he now wishes to ...
    Posted Sep 12, 2019, 10:05 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 2019 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest Results Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest, judged by Michelle Brock and Hazel Hall. We were delighted to announce the winners at Tanka Sunday on ...
    Posted Aug 23, 2019, 1:00 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Tanka Monday Final Schedule Tanka Monday is just one week away. Check out the final schedule, featuring a pleasing variety of readings, presentations, writing exercises, an anonymous workshop, group discussion, and more. Hope to ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2019, 1:28 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Goldstein Tanka Contest Deadline Extended The deadline for the TSA’s Goldstein International Tanka Contest has been extended for one week, to June 7, 2019, so if you haven’t already submitted, you’ve now ...
    Posted Jun 1, 2019, 1:18 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Alexis Rotella to Edit the 2019 TSA Members’ Anthology The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce that Alexis Rotella will edit the 2019 TSA members’ anthology. The submission window is slightly different this year—July 15 to ...
    Posted Mar 14, 2019, 2:06 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • Tanka Monday Call for Proposals The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce that it will have another tanka conference immediately after Haiku North America, this year in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tanka Monday ...
    Posted Feb 28, 2019, 11:11 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 2019 TSA Calendar and Tanka Contest Our TSA Calendar has recently been updated for 2019. On it, you’ll see that we’re having another tanka conference after Haiku North America, this time calling it Tanka ...
    Posted Feb 9, 2019, 7:52 PM by Michael Dylan Welch
  • 2018-19 Tanka Society of America Election Results Thank you to members who voted in the 2018–19 Tanka Society of America officer election. Here are the results, representing 70 people who voted:PRESIDENT:     Michael Dylan Welch 63 ...
    Posted Sep 28, 2018, 11:57 AM by Michael Dylan Welch
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 71. View more »


2019 Contest Winners

          Judged by Michelle Brock and Hazel Hall



          First Place
           muddy foxhole
and camouflaged soldiers
buried by a bomb
sunlight visits
the unmarked grave

Dorothy McLaughlin
          Second Place


           broken oaks
waiting patiently to die
for someone
to count their rings
and tell their stories

Michael H. Lester


          Third Place


           an accident
whilst cleaning his rifle?
on baked earth
an unbearable softness
of flannel flowers

David Terelinck

          Honorable Mentions


                Pris Campbell
                Michael H. Lester
Louis Osofsky
Sara Ellison
Kathy Lippard Cobb
Marion Clarke

          Read more TSA Contest winners.