Bright Stars, An Organic Tanka Anthology: Call for Submissions
Guidelines: Bright Stars, An Organic Tanka Anthology, edited by M. Kei
Submission address: BrightStarsTanka at gmail dot com
Reading window: November 10, 2013 thru September 30, 2014.
Bright Stars is an experimental project from Keibooks that will run for one calendar year (2014). As an anthology, it will publish both new and socially published tanka (within certain parameters) in as many volumes as can be filled with quality work. All volumes will be published in 2014. As each volume fills, it will go to press, and subsequent submissions will be considered for the next volume. There is no planned number of volumes: it will depend entirely on the quantity and quality of submissions. It will not follow a fixed schedule. The content of the anthology and the press of other business will determine the schedule.
An organic anthology, also called a ‘serial anthology,’ differs from a journal in several ways. First, it has no fixed schedule, so there are no deadlines. It’s first come, first serve for quality tanka literature. Because it has no fixed number of volumes, there is no pressure to pad a volume with mediocre work to make up the requisite number of pages, and likewise, no agony over cutting deserving work due to space restrictions. Although it does not have a fixed schedule, it does have an end date, unlike journals which expect to publish indefinitely. Bright Stars will not accept submissions after September 30, 2014.
Bright Stars welcomes previously new and socially published tanka literature by emerging and established poets. By “tanka literature” we mean tanka poetry and any experimentation or innovation based on tanka, including but not limited to: tanka, kyoka, gogyoshi*, waka, tanrenga, tanka sequence, collaborative tanka, tanka prose, shaped tanka, acrostics, and anything else. Experiments are welcome here. If you’re written something and you’re afraid the standard tanka venues won’t consider it, send it here. We make no promises, but we’re open to new ideas.
*We do not use the term “gogyohka” because it is trademarked in Japan and we sell in Japan. Therefore we use the public domain term “gogyoshi.”
Tanka is a short lyric poem originally from Japan composed of five poetic phrases and making use of the techniques and aesthetics pioneered in Japan. Because English and Japanese are very different, several dozen methods have been invented to adapt tanka into English. Any method is welcome, but we prefer a leaner, more supple poem than is usually created by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern. We suggest 15-20 words of English on five asymmetrical lines.
Do not send generic poetry and don’t retread Japanese tropes or Western clichés—don’t send cherry blossoms, kimonos, or spreading a loved ones ashes. We want to see poetry in which the poet understands the poetics and uses them to engage their own lives and subject matter.
Bright Stars focuses on the Japanese aesthetic of ‘akarui’—bright, light, illuminated, brilliant, shiny, brassy, active, energetic, noisy, loud, happy, drunk, passionate, wild, playful, vivid, and boundless. That doesn’t mean you can’t send us dark poems—black is a color too—but it should be an active darkness, not a hand wringing, genteelly sighing darkness.
For examples of the kind of tanka and related poetry we seek, review the following special features at AtlasPoetica.org:
The Garage, Not the Garden : Tanka of Urban Life
25 Tanka for Children (and Educators)
The Unspeakable Body
Chiaroscuro—25 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Tanka
All Hallow’s Evening : Supernatural Tanka
Bright Stars will reprint previously published tanka and related literature that meets the following criteria:
1a) Anything previously published via electronic media is welcome: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online journals, etc, as long as you let us know where and when it was published.
1b) If Edited: If it has appeared/will appear in an edited/curated online venue with a publication date during 2014, it is not eligible.
1c) If Socially published: All poems published via social media or on your own blog are welcome.
In other words, we are trying to gather up electronically published works without stepping on the toes of other journals and forums.
2a) Anything that has appeared in a printed book, chapbook, journal, CD, sheet music, or other fixed medium is ineligible.
2b) Small circulation exception: If less than 50 copies were published/available to the public. (E.g., if you printed out 15 copies for your friends and relatives, then it’s eligible, provided it meets the other criteria.) Please indicate that it was a small circulation item.
3) It is NOT a simultaneous submission.
‘New’ means “never before published anywhere the public could see it.” If it appeared on social media, see ‘Reprints’ above. If you printed out 30 copies for your class, see 2b above.
For All Submissions
1) There is no payment or contributor’s discount.
2) You may send up to 40 poems, or an equivalent amount of tanka prose or shaped tanka. Please query for items over 40 poems in length; we are willing to publish very long works, but must be careful how we allocate space.
3) Translations are welcome, as long as English accompanies the other language(s). Please specify the translator’s name(s). If you translated it yourself, say so. All translators are credited and their biographies are included.
4) Include a short biography written in the third person no more than 75 words long.
5) If more than one person contributed, the submitter must expressly state they are authorized to act as the agent of the other contributor(s) and have permission to publish the work.
6) Bright Stars does not accept articles, announcements, or book notes. Those should be sent to our sister publication, Atlas Poetica.
7) Bright Stars is published by Keibooks, and the general guidelines posted to the website at AtlasPoetica.org apply, except where specified otherwise.
Bright Stars acquires world English-language rights to appear in the anthology, publicity materials about the anthology, and electronic copy, including ebook and online versions. All material will be made available as per the Educational Use Policy posted on the website.
You grant exclusive rights for us to use your poems from the time submitted up until 90 days after the work appears in print. After that period you do not need our permission to reprint, but a credit is appreciated. The contributor retains ownership of the copyright.
Submission address: BrightStarsTanka at gmail dot com.
Reading window: November 10, 2013 thru September 30, 2014.
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