Atlas Poetica 17 focuses on urban and French tanka. Our urban special feature (available on the website) received an extraordinary number of submissions, many of which spilled over to contribute to the current issue. In addition, we are pleased to have information about French tanka written by Janick Belleau and translated by Maxianne Berger. The history of French tanka in French and English expands our understanding of tanka around the world.
Alexis Rotella, Alhama Garcia, Amelia Fielden, Andrea J. Hargrove, Barbara A. Taylor, Beau Boudreaux, Bob Lucky, Brendan Slater, Brian Zimmer, Britton Gildersleeve, Bruce England, Carole Harrison, Carole Johnston, Claire Everett, Đ. V. Rožić, Dawn Bruce, Debbie Strange, Deborah Kolodji, Diana Teneva, Eamonn O’Neill, Ernesto P. Santiago, Fiona Tsang, Flor de te, Frank Watson, Genie Nakano, Gerry Jacobson, Grunge, Hristina Pandjaridis, Janet Lynn Davis, Janick Belleau, Jenny Ward Angyal, Joan-Dianne Smith, Joann Grisetti, Joanne Morcom, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Josette Frankel, Joy McCall, Kelly Belmonte, Kath Abela Wilson, Ken Slaughter, LeRoy Gorman, Liz Moura, M. Kei, Magdalena Dale, Margaret Owen Ruckert, Marilyn Humbert, Mary Hind, Matsukaze, Matthew Caretti, Maxianne Berger, Mel Goldberg, Michelle Brock, Patricia Prime, Paul Mercken, Peter Fiore, Pravat Kumar Padhy, Ramesh Anand, Randy Brooks, Richard St. Clair, Roary Williams, Rodney Williams, Roman Lyakhovetsky, Sanford Goldstein, Seánan Forbes, Sergio Ortiz, Sonam Chhoki, Stacey Dye, Susan Burch, Susan Constable, Sylvia Forges-Ryan, Terri L. French, Tess Driver, Toki, Tomáš Madaras, Vasile Moldovan, Violette Rose-Jones.
Read in the thematic context of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) studies, the phrases, 'black and white' and
'streak of colors,' carry emotional weight and ideological significance, and L5
has the most weight, adding psychological depth to the poem.
Below is excerpted from Chiaroscuro—25 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
Tanka, edited and with an introduction by Janick Belleau:
The title Chiaroscuro is a veiled reference to Torikaebaya Monogatari whose
literal translation is ‘If only I could exchange them’ story. It was written
around the 12th century in Japan by Anonymous, who, to this day, we do not
know, was either a man or a woman. The novel is graced with approximately 80
Torikaebaya is the tale of a sister and a brother whose personalities are best
suited to the opposite sex. Their father decides, in time, to present them to
the Imperial Court in the sexual identity of their choice; both siblings pursue
fabulous careers. The Author touches many themes in this novel: Lesbianism,
Gayness, Bisexuality, Transgender and Androgyny. The notion of gender is played
with humour and psychological insight: one might ask, did writers such as
Balzac with Séraphîta (1834) and Virginia Woolf with Orlando (1928) know about
The whole book is chiaroscuro: whether it shows the emotional distress of the
heroine as a divine nobleman; whether it portrays the shy brother as a lady
confidante or ultimately, the lover of the Emperor’s naïve daughter; whether it
relates to meetings of lovers between dusk and dawn.
The story, which alludes frequently to Genji Monogatari penned by 10th century
Lady Murasaki Shikibu, has been translated into English by Rosette F. Willig in
1983 as The Changelings; into German by Michael Stein in 1994 as Die
vertauschten Geschwister (lit. ‘The exchanged siblings’) and into French by
Renée Garde in 2009 as Si on les échangeait—Le Genji travesti.