Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ATPO 3 closed to submissions

The third issue of Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka closed to submissions at the end of November and the final selections are complete. The cover and editorial are posted on the website. Meanwhile, layout and technical work continues, and the galleyproof should be available in about two weeks for contributors to review.

All emails have been answered. However, over the summer a catastrophic computer failure caused the loss of some files. In addition, some poets who submitted work do not have valid emails and our emails to them bounced. Therefore we believe there is a small number of poets (1-3) who may not have received communications from us. If you submitted to Atlas Poetica but have not heard from us, please follow up with us from a valid email account.

This issue's cover features Gosses Bluff, Australia, and is from the Earth As Art collection by NASA from which we have drawn our other covers. "142 million years ago, an asteroid or comet slammed into what is now the Missionary Plains in Australia's Northern Territory, forming a crater 24 kilometers in diameter and 5 kilometers deep. Today, like a bull's eye, the circular ring of hills that defines Gosses Bluff stands as a stark reminder of the event."

Tanka in this issue includes our usual mixture of sequences, sets, tanka prose, individual tanka, and non-fiction. This time we have a book review of Kitakubo's Cicada Forest , and we invite reviews of other works of interest to tanka poetry of place, as well as non-fiction articles.

Topical tanka includes 'War and Peace,' 'Mourning,' 'Urban,' and 'Summer.' Planned topics for the next issue include 'Winter' and 'Kyoka' (humor, satire, parody).

As always we are on the lookout for innovative new uses of tanka in both form and content, and we believe this issue shows many promising avenues of development for tanka. We were especially pleased by the large number of urban tanka we received and the variety of issues addressed via tanka. Over the past twenty years, tanka of social protest/commentary have not been popular, and some people have even thought it is impossible to address such themes in a form as short as tanka, but as more poets become aware of the poetry of Japanese North Americans of the mid-20th century who often touched such issues, and have turned their hand to such topics with an increasingly sophisticated level of artistry.

A few samples follow:

in place of the fields
rows of red tiled rooftops—
a jammed-up freeway;
only the distant mountains,
stark, empty against the sky

~John Daleiden, from 'Old Memories in the Valley of the Sun'

all shadows lost
to the jailhouse lights
a watchman
gives up his search
for Orion's belt

~Kirsty Karkow, from 'Understanding the Patient'

midday lunch
in a bustling city park
below chinatown
between knotted roots
the dimpled dens of rats

~M. L. Harvey

naive in Cleveland,
I never once thought anyone
would say I killed Christ
until a soldier in my army platoon
bruised my ears on a full-pack march

~Sanford Goldstein, from 'Pre-Holocaust : Growing Up in Cleveland'

grain elevators
torn down   railway lines
my inner landscape, too
has changed

~Angela Leuck, from 'Middle Lake, Saskatchewan'

if I work hard enough
I may give up
this broom
for a clip-board
& a lunch break

~Owen Bullock, 'Imagining the Space'

in the mud
next to the asphalt,
a broken doll’s head,
a crow pecking
at plastic eyes

~M. Kei, from 'Legs of Invisible Desire'

during WW1
German soldiers shelled
Reims Cathedral—
the roof caught fire and gargoyles
spat liquid lead

~André Surridge

old bible
recording generations
of births and deaths
mine was the first divorce
in our family . . .

~Peggy Heinrich

But where there is war, loss, and despair, there is also hope, humor, and help.

our burden lightened

my sisters and brothers—


for some, the curious shackles

a bleak museum exhibit

~John Daleiden, from 'Old Memories in the Valley of the Sun'

the beach
has a story
that waves obliterate—
this fresh page
of shining sand

~Marjorie A. Dyck

the garbage truck
came early today—
angry monkeys
bang an empty can
and hiss at me

~Bob Lucky

ten dolphins
in a nursery rhyme
two leaping
three surfing the waves
five cruising further out

~Amelia Fielden

¿Café de Arbol—
quien necesita cielo
mientras hay todavía
meseras  hermosas
en este mundo? 

Coffee Tree Café—
who needs Heaven
while there are still
beautiful waitresses
in this world?

~James Tipton

while children play
my new friend whispers
fears of HIV
the promise to go with her
to the inner city clinic

~Kirsty Karkow, from 'Understanding the Patient'

First refrigerator—
neighbors come to visit
our Coldspot
as if it were
a sacred shrine.

~Alexis Rotella

just when
everyone seems to
want something from me
the branches are bare
on the beeches

~Owen Bullock

today I found
a pale blue egg
laying in the grass
I took it inside, kept it warm
and thought of second chances

~Trish Fong

bright blue cornflower
          tucked into his buttonhole
                   commuting to Wall Street
star sapphire cufflinks
          pawned for daily bread

~Bobbette A. Mason

road songs . . .
I used to hitchhike
to the city
the old house nothing
but a roof between rides

~Ella Wagemakers

autumn hunt:
way down there in the village
a sinner
enters the clapboard church:
God’s got binoculars too?

~Guy Simser

I hope you will enjoy the third issue of Atlas Poetica 3. It's a diverse, interesting, challenging, and rewarding issue. It was a great pleasure to put it together.



M. Kei

Friday, October 17, 2008

Atlas Poetica 3 - Reminder for Submissions

Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place is in the middle of its window for reviewing submissions for issue 3. The submission period is September 1 through 30 November. Any tanka, waka, kyoka, or related poems of place, including sequences, prose, non-fiction, announcements, international resources, and other materials are welcome. While there are no limits on the types or styles that may be submitted, the there is a preference for the sorts of works that are not often seen in other tanka journals. However, all submissions must be poetry of place, poetry that addresses the natural and human places we inhabit. (For further information, see the editorials at AtlasPoetica.com.)

In addition to being open to tanka poetry of place, the journal also seeks topical tanka. The current topics include 'Summer' and 'urban/suburban/the built environment,' and 'war and peace.' Summer is of course the usual seasonal poetry that is a staple of tanka literature, but the more specific the better. Urban/etc tanka are intended to counteract the usual trend to pastoralism in tanka by presenting tanka that directly engage the places in which most poets and readers live, work, and move. Tanka that address the issues of modern life, whether it be rush hour traffic, cell phones, or the upstairs neighbor, are welcome. Tanka of war and peace may present any viewpoint, whether it be an elegy for a fallen soldier, a protest against the war in Iraq, political satire, or any other treatment. ATPO does not censor, but it does require the works to be poetry, not mere polemics. No matter how passionate or sincere the sentiment, literature, by definition, lifts expression out of the ordinary.

As always we welcome international submissions. We present tanka in languages other than English accompanied by an English translation (and will consider multi-lingual translations on a space available basis.) We value tanka that express minority and indigenous experiences and which grapple with the difficult topics that human beings face and will continue to face as they move through the places of a highly varied world.

Starting with issue 3, Atlas Poetica will publish in print, e-book, and web forms. Our goal is to make the journal as widely available as is financially viable. Your submission indicates that you agree to these terms. To read the full terms and submission guidelines, please visit our web site at: AtlasPoetica.com.

Send all submissions to: submissions@AtlasPoetica.com

Thank you for the many kind responses we have received from our readers! We hope you continue to enjoy Atlas Poetica for many years to come.


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Atlas Poetica web site revamped

The revamp of the AtlasPoetica.com website is complete. Located at AtlasPoetica.com, the revamped website has been expanded to include an archive with past issues, updated submission and international information, and a new introduction by Editor M. Kei.

Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka, is a biannual journal in a format of 8.5" by 11", with a full cover color. It features poetry in English and translation from around the world. Tanka poetry of place expands the self to include the community and the environment, both human and natural, through which the poet travels. Groups and places have their biographies; they are not static non-entities but profoundly important, affecting and effective boundaries of the poet's psyche. Whether contemplating subjects as diverse as n old chest of drawers or a Canadian waterfall, poets find connect, meaning, and significance in the previously unremarked proximities of our lives. Tanka poets of place are pushing tanka as a genre and poetry as a form into new territories.

Atlas Poetica 3 will be reading submissions until November 20, 2008. Full details are found on the website. A significant change from previous editions will be the production of e-books of moderate price, specifically intended to make Atlas Poetica more readily available in the international market. A free online version will also be published.

Friday, August 29, 2008

AtlasPoetica.com moving to new site

AtlasPoetica.com will be down for a short period while the site migrates to a new host server. It should be up again tomorrow (August 30). Sorry for any inconvenience. I hope you are all enjoying the new edition of ATPO 2.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Atlas Poetica 2 now on sale

Dear Friends and Poets:

Atlas Poetica 2 is finally complete and on sale! We had major technical challenges with this issue between the changes at the printer and the death of my computer, but we persevered and overcame them all.

The cover is especially beautiful this issue. It features the Dasht-e Kevir, or 'valley of desert', the largest desert in Iran, as photographed from space. It, like all the covers for Atlas Poetica, is drawn from the 'Earth as Art' collection, courtesy of the United States Geological Service (USGS) and the NASA Landsat Project Science Office. Issue 1 featured the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and the cover of issue 3 will feature Gosses Bluff in Australia. Many thanks to Denis Garrison, our editor-in-chief, for the covers and other technical assistance.

Issue 2 features tanka sequences, tanka prose, and individual tanka in a variety of forms and formats. Poets take us to twenty-three countries as they search for their past, present, and future, seeking their own sense of place in a very large world. Whether confronting the ancestral church or the closed gates of prison, searching the family farm, temples, subways, or seas, our poets find themselves with a world of strangeness on their doorsteps, and a world of familiarity half way around the globe. The poets of ATPO 2 ask what it means to be who they are, what place is their home, and why it matters. The ragged lines of war and tragedy cross their personal histories, but beauty and memory persevere.

Blurb for the issue:

"We believe that tanka’s accessibility is directly related to the conversational way in which it was classically used, and that now more than ever, human beings need to speak to one another—not with the rants and shrills that are the usual public discourse, but with eloquence and grace. By speaking about their experiences of place, the poets of Atlas Poetica have touched on many deeper issues: the value of the natural environment, the importance of our communities, the travails of the modern world, and the everlasting love of beauty that may be the only true definition of civilization. The appreciation of beauty is not a luxury and not a fascination with superficial features, but the ability to peer into the details of existence and find joy. Nowhere is this more important than when burdened with the devastations that humans wreak on each other and the environment."

This issue also includes poet biographies for the first two issues, as well as announcements and international resources. Remember to send your announcements well in advance; the editorial staff at Atlas Poetica plans ahead so that difficulties can be surmounted while still bringing the journal out on time. Some of the announcements sent to us were not included because they would have been over by the time the journal hit the stands. Remember that the journal goes on sale on March 1 and September 1 every year. Only announcements that address the journal's interest in tanka poetry of place will be published. (Haiku-only announcements will not be published. There are plenty of venues already for haiku news.)

Atlas Poetica 2 can be purchased online either through Lulu.com or Modern English Tanka Press.



Now that ATPO 2 has finally been put to bed, we will be working on revamping the website and submission guidelines. But first, I am taking a bit of a breather to work on the skipjack Martha Lewis, the old wooden sailboat I crew aboard. Martha still dredges for oysters in the winter months, making her one of the last vessels in North America to fish commercially under sail. Between the demands of work, changes in my personal life, and the difficulties of the journal, I have not had much time to spend with Martha. You will see the promised changes starting in September.

The reading window for Atlas Poetica 3 is September 1 - December 31, 2008. ATPO 3 will be on sale on 1 March 2009. Planned topics for the topical section include the urban/suburban/built environment, and summer.

Thank you for your support,


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica
A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka
Published by Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore, MD


To keep abreast of developments, please subscribe to Keibooks-Announce list at or via sending email to: Keibooks-Announce-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ATPO 2 put to bed, ATPO 3 revving up

As you know, we've faced some technical issues with Atlas Poetica 2 on account of our print on demand publisher no longer accepting Mac files, your fearless editor having a Mac, his Mac dying and getting replaced, finding new software that would convert his Mac files into something that the printer would accept, reformatting the journals because half the formatting was lost, rescuing my son's virus infected computer with a very stubborn and horrible virus, saving his files, using his machine to edit Atlas Poetica, and finally getting it all sent to the publisher, Modern English Tanka Press . . .

In the midst of all this, other complications came to pass. My autistic son came to live with me full time. He's a lovely young man that is quite easy to live with, but that means I've been spending my days off work organizing his education and medical treatment and teaching him new skills (like how to ride mass transit to get to his new school), and related complications.

Nonetheless, Atlas Poetica is done and has been put to bed. I am waiting for the galleyproof. Assuming all is well with the galley, ATPO 2 will go on sale on September 1 as planned. (This is exactly why there is a long lead between close of submissions and public sale. You never know when disaster will strike.)

The reading window for Atlas Poetica 3 is September 1 to December 31. ATPO 3 will go on sale on 1 March 2009. Planned topics for topical tanka include 'autumn' and the 'urban/suburban/built environment.' As always, we are open to sequences up to forty tanka in length, but prefer to be queried on longer sequences, tanka prose, individual tanka, announcements, international news, book reviews, articles, and other items of interest to an international readership of tanka poetry of place.

In a change, we will be publishing an e-book as well as print, and we will begin excerpting some poems to our website. Therefore, we will be acquiring international English-language rights to enable us to do this. Our new guidelines will conform to the general guidelines of our publisher, Modern English Tanka Press, and will be comparable to other recently published guidelines for METP journals. The website will be revamped over the coming weeks to reflect the changes and post additional information.

We do not accept art, and refer poet-artists to our sister publication, Modern Haiga, for illustrated tanka. Our covers are drawn from repositories of public domain satellite art illustrating different areas of the Earth in all their beauty. ATPO 3 will feature a satellite image of Gosses Bluff, Australia. Previous covers have included the Dasht-e Kevir (valley of desert) in Iran, and the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

As always, we welcome poetry from around the world written in any language accompanied by English translation. International announcements do not need to be accompanied by English translation, although they are welcome. Announcement can include book notes, event flyers, contest announcements, or any sort of item of interest to our readers. However, they MUST be germane to tanka poetry of place. Haiku-only announcements will not be published.

Thank you for your interest and support. We at Atlas Poetica hope that you enjoy issue No. 2, and look forward to your continued participation and appreciation for No. 3.



M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Beginning with Atlas Poetica 3, Spring, 2009, we will be making changes in rights and presentations. In particular, we will be acquiring rights to publish an e-book as well as hard copy, and the right to reprint select poems in a 'sample' page for the website.

The website will be revamped and the guidelines updated before the next submission period to reflect the changes.


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka

Atlas Poetica 1 Reviewed

The current issue of Stylus has a review of Atlas Poetica 1.

Brief excerpt:

"Many of the poets included in Atlas Poetica are well-established American tanka poets writing in well-established traditions, exploring many experiences, but for the most part centred on a particular locality. There are also many poems from poets around the world. Although this collection of tanka is autobiographical in inspiration, based as it is on the poetry of place, it brings new levels of artistry, innovation and appreciation of the tanka form."

Thank you, Stylus, for promoting our journal!


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica 1

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Changes at Modern English Tanka Press

Galleyproofs for ATPO 2 were promised for June, but due to significant changes at our sister publication, Modern English Tanka, we are delayed. You can read more about the changes for MET at: . The major news is that Modern English Tanka will be available as an ebook. This will be much less expensive than the print version, and will make it easier and more affordable for poets and readers around the world to get the journal.

As might be expected, Atlas Poetica will also be going through some changes to keep ourselves in sync with our sister publication, and those will take a little time to finalize. An announcement will be made later, but readers and poets can expect a more accessible journal as a result.

Thank you for your patience as Modern English Tanka Press and its journals grow to serve you better.


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Windfall : Poetry of Place

Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka , is not the only journal of poetry of place out there, although it may be the entry poet to the genre for poets and readers of tanka. We encourage our readers and poets to explore other journals of poetry of place, and in particular, would like to recommend an essay appearing in Windfall that articulates and influences much of what we feel about the importance of place and the nature of poetry. It can be accessed at .


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reminder: Atlas Poetica

Just a reminder that Atlas Poetica is open for submissions from 1 March through 31 May this spring. We accept all kinds of tanka in traditional and innovative forms, individual tanka, tanka with prose, sets and sequences, not to mention, book reviews, articles, announcements, book notes, etc. Tanka in any language when accompanied by English translation is welcome. As always, the focus is on poetry of place: the natural and cultural places that we inhabit anywhere in the world.

Issue #1 is now on sale at lulu.com/modernenglishtanka, and features content in twelve languages from around the world. It is a large format journal, 8.5 x 11 inches, perfect bound, with a full color cover. See our home page at AtlasPoetica.com for more information.


M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Call for Submissions, ATPO 2

ATLAS POETICA : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka is off to an excellent start, with #1 available now. The journal will publish an 8.5" x 11" format of tanka/waka/kyoka and its variants, as well as sets and sequences, two times a year. All poems will be poetry of place, in other words, poetry in which the natural or cultural place plays a role.

Atlas Poetica aims at poetry in which the external and internal environments are connected, and which shows the diversity of the natural world and human experience. Tanka in both traditional and innovative forms are welcome, as are submissions in languages other than English as long as they are accompanied by English translation.

Poets should send up to 40 poems that have never been published and which are not on consideration elsewhere. Atlas Poetica has the capacity to publish longer sequences or prose work, but prefers to be queried first. Non-fiction articles, book reviews, announcements, and other articles of interest to the readers of tanka poetry of place are welcome.

International announcements can be in any language and need not be accompanied by English translation. For complete guidelines, visit AtlasPoetica.com.

Reading window for Atlas Poetica 2: 1 March - 31 May, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Atlas Poetica On Sale Now

Issue One of Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka is available now. It can be purchased through the Modern English Tanka Press storefront at Lulu.com, or direct from the publisher at ModernEnglishTankaPress.com.

Featuring over 500 poems by more than 40 poets and with content in 12 languages, it is a handsome new journal with a full color cover. It publishes tanka, tanka sequences and sets, tanka with prose, and non-fiction and news, including the award-winning 88 poems sequence, Round Faces and Nesting Dolls by an'ya and Alexis Rotella that was a winner in the Tanka Splendor Awards last year. Also included is work by Eastern European, indigenous, and international authors, many in their original languages side by side with English translation.

The reading window for the next issue of Atlas Poetica is March 1 through May 31, 2008.


M. Kei
Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reading Windows for Atlas Poetica

The reading windows for Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place for 2008 are as follows:

1 March - 31 May, for #2. Acceptances will be sent by 30 June. Galleyproof will be available shortly thereafter. Print copy available 1 November, 2008.

1 September - 30 November, for #3. Acceptances will be sent by 31 December. Galleyproof will be available shortly thereafter. Print copy available 1 March, 2009.