Michael Dylan Welch

Founder, President, and Web Manager

22230 NE 28th Place

Sammamish, WA 98074-6408 USA




Michael Dylan Welch founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000 and organized the inaugural meeting, where he was elected as its first president, a position he held for five years. Before that, he edited one of the earliest English-language tanka anthologies, Footsteps in the Fog (Press Here, 1994), and for years edited the tanka-friendly journals Woodnotes and then Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem. His press also published Pat Shelley’s final tanka book, Turning My Chair (1997) and the first Tanka Society of America anthology, Castles in the Sand (2002), which he also edited. Michael’s tanka have appeared in dozens of journals, and he has won first place in the Haiku Poets of Northern California’s International Tanka Contest, among placements in other tanka contests. In 2008, PIE Books in Tokyo published his cotranslation with Emiko Miyashita of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, titled 100 Poets: Passions of the Imperial Court, a collection of ancient waka poetry, now known as tanka. In 2012, the United States Postal Service printed one of these translations on the back of 150,000,000 U.S. postage stamps. Michael has also served for many years as vice president of the Haiku Society of America. He is cofounder and director of the Haiku North America conference, and cofounder of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento. In 2010, he founded National Haiku Writing Month (www.nahaiwrimo.com). Michael also served two terms as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where he is also president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword and curator of SoulFood Poetry Night. His personal website is www.graceguts.com (with an extensive section on tanka, including essays). He lives with his wife and two children in Sammamish, Washington.



I am at your door, knocking—

as I turn away

in a gathering rain

I wonder if you stand at my door,

knocking, knocking


Poetry Kanto (Japan) #17, September 2001



I am awake tonight

not because of a bright moon

or lovesickness,

but mere insomnia—and you,

you would not care the reason


Brevities #8, October 2003



April comes

and now you are gone,

you, who told your guardian angel

each year on your birthday,

not yet


For Pat Shelley

Hummingbird 9:3, March 1999