Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deadline August 3 | Call for Submissions of LGBT Tanka - Chiaroscuro: An Atlas Poetica Special Ffeature

Post date: Sunday, July 29, 2012
Deadline: 3 August 2012

Poets are invited to submit their work to a new Atlas Poetica Special Feature on LGBT Tanka.

The title Chiaroscuro is a veiled reference to Torikaebaya Monogatari (literal translation: ‘If only I could exchange them’ story) written around the 12th century in Japan by Anonymous (man or woman, to this day, we do not know). The story, graced with approximately 80 tanka (in the French version), 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.

Torikaebaya is the tale of a sister and a brother whose mannerisms are those of the opposite sex. Their father, exasperated, decides 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: not only are Lesbianism, Gayness, Bisexuality, Transgender tackled but Androgyny as well. The notion of ‘gender’ is played with humour and psychological insight: one might ask, did writers such as Balzac with Séraphîta and Virginia Woolf with Orlando know about Torikaebaya?

The whole book is ‘chiaroscuro’: whether it shows, at times, the emotional distress of the heroine as a divine nobleman; whether it portrays the shy brother as a lady confidant or ultimately, the lover of the Emperor’s naïve daughter; whether it relates to meetings of lovers between dusk and dawn. To learn more about this novel (characters, themes, authorship, translations), please click these links: in English; in French. One might also wish to enjoy M. Kei’ s review of the book.

You are invited to enter 3-5 tanka. Your five-line poems (no capitalisation, little punctuation) are to be included in the body of the email, without attachments. The tanka, submission open to everyone, should have a positive outlook on LGBT. Poems submitted must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere. The Editor will accept a pseudonym for poets who prefer to remain anonymous. Complete ATPO guidelines and previous Special Features may be viewed at

Your name, country, email address should be included in the email. Please, do include a bio sketch (75 words max.). Contributions should be emailed to Editor Janick Belleau at, the Subject line being “ATPO Special Feature submission – LGBT Tanka”.

25 successful contributors will have a single poem published OR 25 selected tanka will be included when Chiaroscuro – LGBT Tanka appears as an Atlas Poetica Special Feature in September 2012.


For inquiries/ submissions: contact the editor, Janick Belleau, at