Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


So 2018 is my year of exploring the tanka form ... which includes my variations of the form. I'm grateful to North of Oxford for being the first to publish some of my "rattail" (or ducktail) tankas: verse followed by a single, usually-long line.  You can see 3 tankas from my series "On This World Where the Anglo-Zanzibar War Erupted" -- the 3 tankas are separated by asterisks (in case that's not clear from the format).

As regards the title, here's an explanatory excerpt from a poetics essay:
"the shortest war in recorded history was the “Anglo-Zanzibar War.” As a “final act” of that 45-minute war in 1896, Britain had demanded the Zanzibar government reimburse it for the shells it had fired.

Such arrogance, I thought, about Britain’s demand for payment. After all, Britain waged war because it didn’t approve of the man who seized power, Khalid bin Bargash, after the death of British ally Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini. So much for [others'] self-determination. In that arrogance—and ridiculousness—I found a new title for my tanka series... "

You can see more of my tanka variations (as well as my initial, more traditional tankas) in TANKA, Vol. I which was just released from Simulacrum Press.

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