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! ******