top of page

TANKA TAKE HOME - 29 June, 2022 | poet of the month - Ken Slaughter

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

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

poet of the month: Ken Slaughter



a honk behind me

as the red light changes

to green…

I’m half a second slower

than my life


TSA Anthology 2015



he went to heaven

the boy tells his brother

both shivering

in suits and ties

beside their father’s grave


Atlas Poetica 13




We had the pleasure of asking Ken a few questions, and he graciously took the time to answer them. The previous questions are in the earlier posts, here’s the final one.


Q6: TTH: Can you give any advice to someone wanting to write and publish tanka? As an editor what are you looking for in a tanka that makes it most likely to get published?


Ken: I’m not an editor, but my best advice is to stay true to your lived experience when you are writing. And then pay close attention to how the poem sounds when read aloud. Finally, try to have a strong last line that makes the reader want to reread the poem several times.


As for getting published, remember that a poem isn’t going to be published if the reader can’t understand it. At times you may even have to sacrifice layers of meaning to make your poem accessible. That can be a balancing act. Join a forum and embrace feedback. Save your more challenging poems for a contest. In a contest, you need all the layers possible.



More about Ken:


Ken Slaughter is a tanka poet who also likes to write senryu. He was vice president of the Tanka Society of America for a couple of years. He won the annual TSA contest in 2015. He submits primarily to Ribbons, Gusts, Prune Juice and Failed Haiku. You will see some of Ken’s tanka here in the excellent publication haikuKATHA. He lives in Worcester, Massachusetts with his wife, and is the proud servant of two one-eyed cats.



Are you inspired?


Challenge for this week: Think of a sound, and what does it remind you of; example: musical, noise, chatter, clatter, call, sounds of nature, there's a plethora of them, open your ears, use it in your poem. See where that takes you.


Give this idea 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 two 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 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly magazine.



440 views175 comments

175 comentários


Ron Russell
Ron Russell
05 de jul. de 2022

in my hammock

swaying

between wake and dream

the passing clouds

carry me away


open to feedback please

Curtir

Can’t wait to see Pam’s work next. Thanks to all the really great poets and just good people on this site. I am honored to be here with you

Curtir

neena singh
neena singh
04 de jul. de 2022

REVISED thanks to suggestions by Kala, Firdaus & Billie

night silence

begins to ripple...

the cicada's cry

carries a thirst too deep

for mere words


ORIGINAL midsummer

deep into the night

a cicada cries…

the thirst too deep

for mere words


Curtir

Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
04 de jul. de 2022

Revised, based on the suggestions from Neena and Billie (open to more suggestions)


Revised:


After Silence


The lane suddenly gasps with despair when a cold breeze blows through it, carrying with it some pollens, scent, dust, crumbs of paper, scraps, and the shawl of a homeless...


clatter

of a tin can

down the street ...

in a tattered hut

the child stops crying


Original:


After Silence


The lane suddenly gasps with despair when a cold breeze blows through it, carrying with it some pollens, scent, dust, crumbs of paper, scraps, and the shawl of a homeless...


clanking

of a tin can rolling

down the street ...

a child in a tattered shed

stops crying for a while


(I am wondering…

Curtir
Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
05 de jul. de 2022
Respondendo a

An indication of the homeless running after his valuables being swept away by the slightest breeze...

Curtir

mona bedi
mona bedi
03 de jul. de 2022

silent rain– just the sound of unsaid words the conversations we stopped having a long time ago feedback please:)

Curtir
Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
05 de jul. de 2022
Respondendo a

Hi Mona, I like this! I don’t think you need “just” in L2.

Curtir
bottom of page