2021 Goldstein Contest Judges

2021 Goldstein Contest Judges

Our gratitude to Autumn Noelle Hall and Don Miller for judging the Tanka Society of America’s 2021 Goldstein International Tanka Contest.

Autumn Noelle Hall is a Rocky Mountain writer whose short form poetry has appeared internationally for more than a decade in distinguished literary journals and anthologies, garnering her a reputation for self-aware autobiography, unsparing socio-political commentary, and environmental activism. Hall served as the inaugural tanka prose editor for Ribbons from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, Atlas Poetica published her special feature, “Turn the Other Cheek: Nonviolent Resistance and Peaceful Protest Tanka.” Her collaborative book, Tanka Quartets, coauthored with long-time Ribbons editor, David C. Rice, debuted in August of 2020. Most recently, Hall was honored with first place in the 2020 Fujisan Taisho competition.

Don Miller, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, wrote his first tanka in 1982 at Purdue University in Professor Sanford Goldstein’s creative writing class. Miller then spent the next twenty years reading and studying the tanka of Goldstein and Takuboku because those were his only books of tanka. More recently his writing has been focused on family, and on border-region issues of the southwest. Miller has had his poetry published in various journals and anthologies, one of the most recent anthologies being Tanka 2020. He has guest edited two Atlas Poetica special features: “Sin Fronteras | Borders Without Boundaries” (2019) and “The Atomic Era—Seventy Years of . . .” (2015).

Judges’ Statement

We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our tanka community by cojudging this year’s contest, and to honor its namesake, the grandfather of tanka, Sanford Goldstein, by upholding his legacy. We will not be seeking poems written around any given theme—we feel there are many timely topics that lend themselves to tanka expression. We will welcome poems of both an inward-looking (personal) and outward-looking (global) perspective. We are open to and encourage varied presentations of tanka in a range of symbolic and linguistic expression where form and language serve both poet and poem. What we value most are authentic tanka that reflect the unique perspective and experience of the poet while conveying a deeply felt presence to the reader. We look forward to receiving your finest tanka efforts.

—Autumn and Don