Tanka Café Submission Guidelines

Note: This column was discontinued at the end of 2021. Our gratitude to editor Michael McClintock for his decades-long service to the society in editing this column.

Tanka Café Submission Guidelines

One of the most popular features of Ribbons is the Tanka Café column, where TSA members are invited to submit tanka verses on a designated theme for the next issue. The themes for past issues have included summer skies, sons and daughters, ice, beginnings, giving and receiving, portraits, love, and many others. Each theme is meant to both inspire and challenge.

To participate, you must be a member of the TSA (if you aren’t already, please visit How to Join). If you’re a member, please email one verse on the prescribed theme (specified in the most recent issue of Ribbons) to Tanka Café editor Michael McClintock at MchlMcClintock@aol.com with “Tanka Café” in the subject heading. Poems must be previously unpublished. Typically about 90 to 120 member poems are selected for inclusion in each issue.

In-hand submission deadlines are as follows:

    • April 30: Spring/Summer Issue

    • August 31: Fall Issue

    • December 31: Winter Issue

Member’s Choice Tanka

The Tanka Café column features not only a generous selection of verses by members but also includes a “Member’s Choice Tanka,” which might very well be your tanka. From each issue of Ribbons, a “Member’s Choice Tanka” is selected from the previous installment of the Tanka Café column to receive an honorarium of $25. All poems appearing in each installment of the Tanka Café are eligible for this recognition. Each recipient of the “Member’s Choice Tanka” award is asked to make the next selection and choose two commended poems from the subsequent set, and to offer a few comments regarding his or her choice for the award.

So come to the Tanka Café and enjoy the fare. Who knows? Your verse might just be the featured dish on the next menu!