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 is the tanka and tanka art for you this week! i cannot separate
my feelings of love
mother on the horizon
in her flowing white gown
A Solitary Woman 2013
We had the pleasure of asking Pamela A. Babusci a few questions, and she graciously took the time to answer them.
TTH: Do you come from a literary background? What writers did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you write as a child?
No, I did not. Neither one of my parents wrote any poetry. I only read what was required of me in grammar and high school.
TTH: How did you get started as a poet? What was it about tanka that inspired you to embrace this ancient form of poetry? In short, why do you keep writing tanka?
As a teenager, I started to write a lot of poetry to cope with my family’s dysfunction. It was free-verse poetry. I still have some of these handwritten poems in a folder. In 1995, I met via email a Japanese-American poet Kenneth Tanemura and he introduced me to tanka, he recommended the classic book, The Ink Dark Moon, I read it, fell in love with it, and started to write tanka and have been writing it ever since. I write tanka every day, even if I don’t like what I write, I put it down either in a notebook or on my laptop. Then I will go back to it and rewrite it or perhaps, just use a phrase in it and rewrite a different tanka.
I continue to write tanka because it gives deep meaning to my life, I need to express myself within poetry and tanka is the perfect form for me.
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Pamela is an internationally award-winning haiku/tanka & haiga artist. She loves to sumi-e paint, write Japanese calligraphy, abstract paint, make jewelry, sculpt, 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: Think of what it means to be lonely. Have you ever felt like that 'special' person was missing in your life? Bonding is very important. Did you have problems with understanding any member of your family? Do you think writing about these personal matters will release some pent-up emotions in you?
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.