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TANKA TAKE HOME - 13th July 2022 | poet of the month - Pamela A. Babusci

hosts: Firdaus Parvez, Kala Ramesh, Priti Aisola & Suraja Menon Roychowdhury

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

poet of the month: Pamela A. Babusci

Here are two beautiful tanka for you this week!

never pregnant

i cut into a ripe


red seeds flowing down

the barren sink

A Solitary Woman 2013

i sit for hours

in total darkness . . .

just these white peonies

on the nightstand

fluorescent like the moon

A Thousand Reasons 2009

We had the pleasure of asking Pamela A. Babusci a few questions, and she graciously took the time to answer them.


TTH: How do you develop a tanka? Please guide us through the stages of a poem.

Pamela: I have no set pattern for writing a tanka or any poem. Sometimes, I just see a word and that inspires me to write a tanka. I don’t restrict myself to “rules” as to write any 5/7/5/7/7 pattern or any short/long/short/long/long style. So, I guess I write ‘free-style” tanka.

I feel a tanka should be a short story written in five lines down, that it should evoke

an intense feeling of joy, sorrow, pain, longing, love, loss, etc. Should move the reader in a way that changes their lives or moves them emotionally. Tanka should be somewhat autobiographical or the poet should use their vivid imagination.

*** *** ***

Pamela is an internationally award-winning haiku/tanka & haiga artist. She loves to Sumi-e paint, write Japanese calligraphy, and abstract paint, makes jewelry, sculpts, and make collages. Her awards include the Museum of Haiku Literature Award, International Tanka Splendor Awards, First Place Mainichi Haiku Award (Japan), First Place Tanka Yellow Moon Competition (Aust), First Place Kokako Tanka Competition (NZ), First Place Saigyo Tanka Competition (US), First Place Inaugural Tanka Festival (Japan), First Place (tanka) San Franciso International Contest, First Place Mt. Fuji Tanka Contest (Japan). She has illustrated several books, including Full Moon Tide: The Best of Tanka Splendor Awards, Taboo Haiku, Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka Volume 1, The Delicate Dance of Wings, Chasing the Sun: selected haiku from HNA 2007 and A Thousand Reasons. She was the logo artist for Haiku North America in New York City in 2003 and again in Winston-Salem in 2007. Pamela has collaborated in several art galleries in Rochester, NY with oil painters Larry DeKock and Jono Peterson, where she has written tanka to complement their paintings. She is the founder and editor of Moonbathing: a journal of women’s tanka, the first all-women’s international tanka journal. Her two tanka collections are A Thousand Reasons and A Solitary Woman.

Poetry and art have been an integral part of her existence since her early teenage years. She has a deep desire to be creative daily. It feeds her spirit and soul, gives meaning to her life, and will continue to be a driving force until she meets her creator.

Are you inspired?

Challenge for this week: Catch each word in this tanka - notice how well they resonate. never pregnant

i cut into a ripe


red seeds flowing down

the barren sink

Can you try to weave in a story in five lines? The second tanka is equally poignant.

Give these ideas some thought and share your tanka and tanka-prose with us here. Keep your senses open, observe things that happen around you and write. You can post tanka and tanka-prose outside this theme too.

An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights

PLEASE NOTE 1. Post only one poem at a time. 2. Only 2 tanka and two tanka-prose per poet per prompt. Tanka art of course if you want to.

3. Share your best-polished pieces. 4. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it simmer for a while. 5. Post your final edited version on top of your original verse. 6. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems. We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished tanka and tanka-prose (within 250 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly magazine.


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