Jamie Edgecombe, Larry Kimmel,
Cindy Guentherman, Keith McMahen,
TANKA SPLENDOR Contest Rules
LETTERS to LYNX
. . . I am glad to have your message. I have read some of your poems and articles
on poetry forms, including ghazals in LYNX and THE GHAZAL PAGE (Gene Doty's).
I greatly appreciate your poetry and efforts on the different forms.
Ghazanelle, is a new form of poetry. I developed this from Ghazal and
Villanelle, which are two of the most lyrical of the structured forms, the
former being an Asian, and the latter, a European. As we know, a ghazal is a
combination of independent poems in the form of couplets, with rhymes and
refrains. The villanelle is a poem of nineteen lines with five tercets and a
quatrain. The tercets are not independent poems. The connection in the poem is
the continuing thought. It is helped throughout with two end rhymes and two
refrain lines from the first tercet.
I took a few rules from both the ghazal and the villanelle, and brought
them together, thinking that the new form from these would be a pleasant
amalgam, with particular attributes of both. A pleasure to write. A bit of a
challenge. And not too foreign to follow. In either language, European or
Oriental; mainly English and Urdu. I wrote my first ghazanelle last
month. This is "Nimbus".
Rules of a ghazanelle:
· A ghazanelle is a poem of nineteen lines.
· It has six stanzas i.e., five three-line stanzas and one quatrain.
· Each stanza is an independent poem.
· It has two rhymes: aba in all tercets and abaa in the
· It has a Kaafiya, rhyme before the end word or phrase in the second line of
· There are two refrain lines. In the stanzas following the first, the first
and the third lines of the first stanza are repeated alternately as refrains.
They are the final two lines of the concluding quatrain.
· A ghazanelle has the poet's pen-name in the first two lines of the quatrain
· The beher is either metrical or syllabic as in a ghazal.
. . . I have enjoyed reading Lynx – there's a particularly
generous selection. I especially liked John Stevenson's tanka in the latest
issue – very different somehow, very personal - and Larry Kimmel's in the
previous one. So I'd like to submit some work for you to consider. Owen
. . . please find below the tanka i said i would send to your for
consideration. As i mentioned before, they were all written individually, so
if you think one is disruptive and if only one or two stand out on their own,
please feel free to use them how as you see fit. personally i like the way they
resonate together, and the flow in terms of periodical order (so that old and new
stand side by side in order to be appreciated; showing how their effects are
equal and not dulled by time). One last thing, an addition to the "brief
bio" i sent you: this month i published two haibun in Blithe Spirit (UK).
Thank you for your very quick response, your time and consideration. I look
forward to hearing from you shortly. Jamie Edgecombe - Sapporo, Board of Education, Hokkaido,
. . . I hope Werner got my last e-mail of the dialogue we are working on,
sent last week. I've really enjoyed it and as I told Werner in my last
e-mail it has been a pleasure to disagree (and agree) so agreeably in the
dialogue. I really had a hard time sticking to my point, at times,
because I was inclined to agree with much that Werner was saying. But
all told, I think we both got to say a lot that we wanted to say and I
hope it will be stimulating to readers. Whatever, I want to thank you
folks for asking me. Larry Kimmel
. . . Thank you! These collaborations are fun. You always think
of more stuff than you would writing by yourself, because you are also
bouncing off the other person's thoughts. Cindy Guentherman
. . . How are you keeping. I am holding my own and enjoying life.
Just finishing up another tanka collection, this one to be called Trout
Evenings - isn't that a swell title? Jane, I have just found out that
I won a tanka contest for the hoshi-t-mori company.
As you know, I am quite frail in health and do not know if I could stand
such a trip, but long to go. I long to go. What do you think?
Much love, dear sister in the love of poetry,
. . . Sorry for the delay in responding but a move happened in between and
I'm now in Florida. I went out to the site and I didn't see how many
tanka you accepted for consideration at a time so I'm sending 11.
Forgive me if I exceeded the limit. I Know editors are very busy and so
consider the following request only that. If you are to busy (after all
I'm sure you receive hundreds of poems) then no problem just forgive my
chutzpah. Anyway I'm relatively new at writing tanka (I just got my
first one published in American Tanka) though I've been reading (both
translations and various email lists) for a while. I have the
opportunity to speak to my daughters high school creative writing class on
haiku and tanka. I have a number of friends who are published haijin and
have received help on the haiku side but I'm looking for help on the tanka
part. There are a number in the class (beside the usual slackers who
consider it the least objectionable or the easiest of the options they had to
pick from) who are serious about writing and publishing. My daughter
(who is in the 10th grade though most are juniors and seniors) has found my
submissions and the response to be interesting. If you would like to
comment on any of the poems feel free to do so. You don't have to be
gentle either! I want to talk about the process and how it is rare that
a finished tanka (or haiku for that matter) doesn't just drop into your lap.
How it can go through revisions and how comments are not to be taken as the
last word but rather as advice that can help you make it better. If you
have any other advice about writing tanka (for example how do you approach it)
it would not only be very interesting but very much appreciated. feel
free to write as little or as much or not at all. I myself am in love
with tanka in particular and wish to share that joy and hopefully encourage
others to try (and hopefully submit). Thanks for listening.
Forgive my chutzpah. Thanks, Keith McMahen
. . .Since my wife is deep into finishing a manuscript she asked me to
answer your letter. I hope you don't mind. You asked Jane for comment on your
tanka and so I would like to say first that you are doing well. Those five
poems we have chosen for publication in LYNX, June 2002, do indeed keep
the main 'tanka rules' in place, blending two different things/images and
using the third line as the pivot line. Great!
so you are a runner
this stray too
Some of the other tanka repeat in one way or the other images used before
in Japan or here in English language poems. We are trying to avoid publishing
work too close to what we studied and enjoyed. After twelve years of
publishing tanka first in the magazine Mirrors and later in Lynx and elsewhere on the web, we are out to serve our well informed readers with
truly new work, offering images not connected necessarily with 'love'.
We also like to express that most readers are a little tired of reading
single tanka. We Westerners are used to longer poems, to concepts at least
building a series or better a sequence, including well planned shifts or
leaps. The at least five or more tanka should have a title enlarging the
perspectives. Since authors begin to enjoy the unexplored possibilities
composing longer poems we are watching a lot more interest for tanka. Again, thank you for submitting. Best for your work, Jane says Hello! Werner
. . . In the body of this e-mail, please find five tanka and one haibun
submitted for your consideration. I live in rural northwestern New Jersey,
where I teach poetry workshops in the schools, and in private and group homes.
Although I have been writing and publishing verse and prose poems for a number
of years now, I am relatively new to writing tanka. I find I very much like
writing in this form, however, as it is almost gem-like in its small beauty.
My work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, both in print
and on the Web, including American Tanka, Tundra, Old Red Kimono, Kalliope,
Literal Latte, The Comstock Review, Clay Palm Review, Midday Moon, Snowy Egret,
and others. My chapbook of poems and prose poems, Onion Festival Seeks
Queen, is due out this spring from Pudding House Publications. I am enjoying my copy of Wind Five-Folded, which I recently received
from you. Melissa Montimurro
Sponsored by AHA Books
1. Thirty-one tanka and three tanka
sequences will be awarded publication in Tanka Splendor 2002 and for each winning entry the author will receive a $20. gift certificate
for books from AHA Books.
2. Deadline: Midnight September 30,
3. Each author may submit either a group of up to three (3) unpublished tanka or one tanka
sequence of any length. All material must be original and not under
4. There is no entry fee.
5. Individual tanka should be in English,
written in five lines containing 31 or less syllables, and without titles.
6. The tanka sequence should consist of a
title with three or more tanka, each of which contains 31 or less syllables
written in five lines.
7. Send your entry either by using the form
below or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "TSentry" in the subject line. Entries may also be
sent by regular post. These will be entered in the contest but the author will
be unable to take part in the judging. Winners not online will notified by
mail. Send mail entries, typed on sheets of paper to:
pob 767 / 1250
Gualala, CA 95445
8. This year the judging will be done only
by the persons who have entered the contest. All valid entries will be
given a number and posted without names here on the AHApoetry.com site. Each
contestant will receive an e-mail announcement when the contest is open for
judging. Then by e-mail the contestants are invited to declare their choices
for the best single tanka and best sequence. After tabulating these votes the
31 single tanka and three sequences which receive the most votes will be
published as Tanka Splendor 2002 as an AHA Books Online and
winners will be notified with the gift certificates.
9. Rights return to authors upon
publication. Entries cannot be returned.
Send your tanka entries
to the Tanka Splendor Awards Contest with this form. If this form fails to
function, you can send a regular e-mail to email@example.com with "TSentry" in the subject line.
Read the winning entries in Tanka
Or the latest ones in Tanka Splendor 2001.
Back editions of Tanka Splendor for
the years 92, 95, 97, 98 and 99 are still available from AHA Books for $6.00
each postpaid. Send a check by post to AHA Books, pob 1250, Gualala, CA.