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