2015 Tanka Workshop

Fourth Annual YTHS Tanka Workshop

Tanka with Prose

On Sunday, March 1st, 2015, YTHS is pleased to offer its fourth one-day Tanka Workshop, at a location in the Monterey Bay area (Monterey Dunes). Joan Zimmerman and Patricia J. Machmiller will again lead the workshop. To register: let Patricia know (patriciajmachmiller@msn.com ).

Historical Talk: Phillip R Kennedy on “Old Capitals and Ruined Cities in Chinese Poetry and in early Japanese Choka and Tanka”.

Again it will be a by-donation fundraiser for YTHS, partially to help underwrite the costs of the dear-to-our-hearts YT members anthology.

The workshop’s primary writing assignment will be to combine prose and tanka – the tanka equivalent of the haibun. You will write a little prose and a few tanka. That means that anyone already able to write prose is accomplished in at least half of what you’ll be doing.


We might also adapt the form so that one poet’s prose is responded to by another poet’s tanka. Past attendees have loved the opportunity to work with others (with the tan-renga of our 2nd workshop and the responsive tanka of our 3rd workshop).

Phillip R. Kennedy, our special guest speaker, will give us insights into a slice of our poetry heritage with a Historical Talk. He writes:
“Chinese and Japanese poetry contain a sub-genre that consists of poems about thoughts stirred by passing by a ruined or abandoned capital or palace. I want to look at how this theme/ sub-genre is handled differently in both poetries, and suggest ways that we might write tanka on a similar topic today: abandoned buildings or farms, old factories, etc.  It’s a way of connecting with the past that goes deeper than just nostalgia.”
In late-January I’ll start sending out some preliminary and optional exercises to enrollees, so you will have the opportunity to begin the workshop experience before we meet.

Suggested workshop donation (a fund-raiser for YTHS): $60.