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Earth: Our Common Ground An Anthology of Tanka/ Skylark Publishing
Call for Submissions: Please share widely.
The Poetry of earth is never dead ~John Keats
Never has it felt more appropriate to announce this submission call for tanka on the subject of ‘Earth: Our Common Ground’ for an anthology slated for publication towards the end of 2016. In the light of the Planning Committee of North Yorkshire County Council voting yes to Third Energy’s proposal to begin fracking in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, it has brought home to me even more how tenuous our foothold is on this beautiful planet that asks nothing of us even as we make constant demands of its energy and resources. And when the time comes, and enough is enough, Earth will go on without us. It has been often said, we don’t merely inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our descendants. Never before has it been so vital that we honour and respect the legacy we have been granted and the one we will leave for generations to come. No matter our differences and the things that divide us, be they ethnicity, culture, politics, religion, wealth, gender, sexuality . . . we have one thing in common: Earth.
Poets are invited to submit up to 25 tanka/tanka sequences/tanka prose inspired by the title. (For example, you might choose to send 20 individual tanka and 5 sequences, or 18 individual tanka, 5 sequences and 2 pieces of tanka prose). Please do not send collaborative sequences, rengay, tanka art or tan renga, as these will not be considered. You are free to interpret the theme in any way you wish: you might consider topics such as earth spirituality; earth gods and goddesses; ancient sites and cultures; tanka of place; Gaia Theory; natural disaster; environmental concerns, protests and activism; inter-being and interconnectedness . . . the list goes on. Poets are encouraged to share their passions, to celebrate, commemorate and honour the existence of this, our common ground, from the smallest creature, backyard haven, or beloved vista, to the ultimate panorama: Earth’s special place in the universe as a pale blue dot in space.
Submissions will open on June 1st and will close on September 30th, 2016. Submissions to Skylark are also open through June and July, so please bear in mind that you may not be notified of acceptances for 6-8 weeks. However, please do not let this deter you from submitting early in the period as all work will be considered from the outset and competition is likely to be high.
Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading Earth: Our Common Ground/your name. You will receive an automated response, acknowledging receipt of your submission. If you don’t, feel free to inquire.
Please do not send previously published tanka, however poems that have appeared on social media platforms, personal blogs, or in private groups/workshops will be considered, although you must indicate this is the case and which poems it applies to.
Earth: Our Common Ground will be published by Skylark Publishing and will be available to purchase from Amazon and Createspace. 25% of any profits will be donated to frackfreeryedale.org as we continue to fight fracking here in the UK.
Thank you! I look forward to reading your work.
Founder and Editor of Skylark & Tanka Prose Editor for Haibun Today
Why Skylark? This small brown bird is often hailed as the very voice of spring. It lives on open farmland, or heath, and spends much of its life foraging. In the spring, male birds compete for mates by singing almost non-stop, ascending on hovering wings to heights of 100 metres as they do so. Throughout their long, liquid songs, they appear to not take a breath. Their very breath is song, a form of circular breathing whereby the air passes through the lungs and nine separate cavities, and even the birds’ hollow bones. At times, it seems that the sky itself is spilling song, for the songster himself is fluttering too high to be seen. If a flock of birds is seen, it is described as an “exaltation”! It is no surprise that the bird has inspired poets through the ages:Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, George Meredith and Ted Hughes to name but a few.
Up with me! up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong; Up with me, up with me into the clouds! Singing, singing, With clouds and sky about thee ringing, Lift me, guide me till I find That spot which seems so to thy mind!
from “To a Skylark”. William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Skylark, an English-Language tanka journal dedicated to tanka in all its forms, hails from North Yorkshire, England. The inaugural issue appeared in summer 2013 and the journal continues to go from strength to strength under the editorship of its founder, Claire Everett. In 2014, Jenny Ward Angyal joined the team as Reviews and Features Editor. Amy Claire Rose Smith is the Skylark artist.
Skylark welcomes submissions from international poets, new and established alike. Please refer to the submissions page for details.
You can hear more skylarks and read about them here.
Praise for Skylark:
This is the first edition of what promises to become a leading international tanka journal, and is the only print journal of its type in the UK. It oozes class and I have already read it several times. Can't wait for the next edition.
The Journal had a beautiful layout. Wonderful writing. I enjoyed reading it. It was a lot larger than I expected.
Skylark is a lovely tanka journal, full of beauty and cohesion. I'd highly recommend it to any lovers of the Japanese form but also to anyone who likes poetry of any kind.
Skylark is a must have for contemporary tanka poetry writers and readers. It includes a treasure trove of variety of subject and is helmed by a skillful and talented writer herself. Skylark is a bi-yearly publication and is a beautiful addition to any Japanese short form poetry library, containing a great selection of what's being done in the field today.
Skylark is a very well edited journal with excellent production values at a reasonable cost. Highly recommended for all with an interest in Japanese style poetry!
A beautiful collection of contemporary tanka by many talented authors. A delight to read.
****** Look out for exciting news from Skylark in the coming months! ******