Friday, August 29, 2008 moving to new site 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 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:

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