American Tanka seeks concise, well-crafted, five-line tanka that evoke a specific moment. We tend to publish unique tanka with clear, concrete images; we avoid abstractions, clichés, and overcrowded poems. No matter the syllable count, we look for poems that echo the spirit of the form while exhibiting contemporary relevance. We are NOT looking for imitations of Japanese poetry or aesthetics; we are looking for vibrant contemporary poetry that uses the tanka form to express a real or imagined moment in the author’s time and culture. We will consider all kinds of approaches toward this achievement.

American Tanka welcomes submissions from anyone who has been writing tanka: experienced tanka poets, experienced poets in other forms, and new poets. American Tanka encourages all readers and writers to try their hand at tanka and submit their best work. Every submission is carefully considered.

Submissions are ongoing, but once you have submitted work, please do not submit more until you have received a reply, which you can expect in 3 months or less. American Tanka is very selective, and only a small fraction of submissions are published in the journal, but do not let that discourage you from sending work. It is an honor to consider it.

Submit up to five original, unpublished poems that are not under consideration elsewhere, along with a very short “about the author” (30 words or fewer), either in the body of an email to, or via the form below:

Online submission form


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