About kathabela

Poet creator, organizer of Tanka Poets on Site, Haiku Kathabela, Poets on Site, Caltech, Red Door Poets, Haiku Tid-Bits (fb) Experiment in Submission a Day (fb) Afternoon Tanka Party (fb) Poetry Quack Quarks (fb) secretary Tanka Society of America, member Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern CA, world travels and music/poetic performance (with my husband Rick Wilson on flutes of the world)

Updating Tanka Poets on Site Tanka Sunday Book (your Roving Reporter still at work)

TANKA POETS ON SITE BOOK-SEPT25a ALL of the sections have now been updated, new poems added, names corrected, small edits made.

Thank you Colin Stewart Jones for hosting this roving report… for the poets here!


Bringing the Conference Home the Queen Mary at our Poets Salon, Pasadena CA August 30, 2013

A Poets Salon Gathering at our home to review special programs at the HNA and Tanka Sunday and more! A relaxed dinner salon with a special focus! We brought the conference home.


A surprise beginning to the salon – a short listening party for Lucas Hunt, who I met and appreciated at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference this June! We listened to him read his inspiring poem, “I am the Poet”. It is from his book called “Lives”.


You can read “I Am the Poet” here.

Here you can see our dear friend Karen Klingman (1942 – 2013)
Karen was honored along with 20 other haiku poets at Haiku North America Memorials, 2011-2013. This was beautifully organized by Linda Papanicolaou.


Rick playing shakuhachi, for this special reading


Poets read a haiku aloud by each of the Memorial honored poets.
This was a very moving experience for all/


Beautiful haiku by the oldest of the departed poets,
Virginia Brady Young (1911 – 2012):

all my life
the silence
of the sun


Karen’s poem, included in the memorial brochure was this. It was remembered by Caltech poet Amir Sapir, and contributed to the program:

on the roof
the sound of cracking eggs
I wish I was taller














Reviewing The HNA Haiga Art Works on Paper + A Conference Long Ongoing Live Slide Show

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Click here to see images from the digital haiga display by international poets!

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In the Royal Salon on the Queen Mary, the Haiga Art Show was an ongoing Live display. A computer screen projected a changing display of images poets had sent. These were incorporated into a show of about 150 haiga which was continually displayed in real time.

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I’ll be adding some samples from the show momentarily and also eventually a pdf of the Digital Haiga Art Show

Tanka Sunday August 18 A Fine Finale!


Amelia Fielden, renowned poet and translator from Australia and Japan reading her own work at Tanka Sunday


Margaret Chula, Tanka Society of America President, introducing the speakers


Peggy Heinrich reading her poems


Terry Ann Carter wonderful poet from Canada reading her tanka


Mariko Kitakubo, beautiful tanka poet from Japan, played sensitive musical accompaniment to a performance with Margaret Chula


Margaret Chula reading her poems, translations into Japanese by Mariko Kitakubo


Michael Dylan Welch speaks on Translation



Genie Nakano interpretive dance accompanied the winning poems in the Tanka Society contest




Marilyn Hazleton reading a special tanka as a tribute introduction to our Tanka Poets on Site


William Hart in the open reading finale


Marcyn Clements reading in the open


Amelia Fielden and Genie performing their collaborative tanka sequence!


Nancy Ellis Taylor, whose haiku won the HNA haiku contest earlier in the week


kris moon reads in the open


Deborah P. Kolodji reading happily in the tanka open after the final closing praise for HNA wonderful work on organizing the conference


Susan Diridoni read in the open she was one of our wonderful tanka Poets on Site in the our performance (see yesterday’s report!)


Margaret Chula closing the conference, in hopes for another all Tanka event soon! Such a beautiful Tanka Sunday! Tank you for all your work!

Welcome to Tanka Sunday, The Queen Mary, August 18, 2013

What WAS Tanka Sunday? I wish all of you could have been there with us for this afternoon and evening, the amazing and rich culmination of our week on the Queen Mary. The “Victoria Room” where the programs were help was full. About 35 international poets filled the room with poetry. It began at 1 PM with a welcome by Maragraet Chula TSA president, and Michael Dylan Welch, TSA founder. A tanka read-around was a part of this welcome, each poet introducing themselves and reading one tanka.

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This was followed by a tanka writing workshop led by David Rice, Ribbons editor. The room was astir with tanka…In this session Mariko Kitakubo and I began a long wished for and anticipated tanka sequence, (which recalls my first enchantment with tanka, on listening to her perform in Japanese. Thanks to David’s encouragement to the group… just write tanka, and maybe try a collaboration.,, many new things were happening. He led a special session for a few newer tanka poets, with more direction.

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After a short break, at 2:30 A fascinating Panel Discussion was presented, one of the best I have ever heard. The topic was International Views of Tanka. Each of the panelists spoke to the current views of tanka in their country as they saw them. Micahel Dylan Welch led the group, Stev en D. Carter, Japan, Amelia Fielden, Australia and Japan, Marilyn Hazleton, United States, and Kozoue Uzawa, Canada. How wonderful it was to meet these wonderful poets and editors in person!

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My favorite comment was by Marilyn Hazleton who said she saw a strong theme of “transformation” in American tanka. There were distinct differences in approach in all the participants.

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The keynote speaker for Tanka Sunday was Stephen D. Carter chair of the East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University, who presented the unusual figure of Kinoshita Choshoshi, (1569-1649): Tanka Iconoclast.

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After a short dinner break Kathabela Wilson presented a performance by Tanka Poets on Site, an online group that works together to learn, appreciate and write tanka inspired by prompts given. They have over the last year written and archived about 8,000 tanka! They presented a ten minute selection of tanka written on four (of about 380 prompts over the last year+. The poets who had written on the prompts and were present read their own work as well as the tanka of the other poets not present. The delightful and heart-warming reading poets who had gathered to join Kathabela for the reading were Susan Diridoni, Sondra J. Byrnes, Nancy Ellis Taylor, Genie Nakano, kris moon, (Kris Kondo). It was a moving overview of of responses to prompts by Kathabela “no ordinary flower” “what cannot be contained” ” what fruit do you identify with, talk to”. Each poet listening was given the tanka book made by Kathabela and Rick Wilson to celebrate this performance. A full performance, reading every tanka in the book, and including “children playing in the road” (prompt by Gary Blankenship) will be performed at our home salon in Friday evening, August 30, 7PM.


Poets on Catalina Island Conference Finale HNA

We could not leave our conference friends without a Trip to Avalon, on Catalina Island off the coast. It was a day of enchantment. More real and “magical” than we could ever expect. And it was full of poetry. After all the work of making this conference wonderful it was a pleasure to relax together, with Deborah P. Kolodji, Naia, Michael, oour New Zealand friends. Luce Pelletier, and Mariko Kitakubo. On the way, Michael Dylan Welch, who never stops being a poet, organized a group writing session, you can see it is a poetic voyage of friends. We took a long walk into the hills together to the Botanic Garden. On the way I met a deer and deviated from the group for almost two hours. Roving with my deer. Then Mariko (the mother of my tanka, I fell in love with tanka listening to her perform about five year ago at Pacific Asia Museum) becae twins and bought matching dresses! On the way home on the voyage I had the delightful experience of writing with Michael Dylan Welch all the way back . These were the highlights for me.













The Full Regional Reading Salon Every Word Every Footnote

IMG_6374At the finale of the Haiku North America the question came up… as it does at a week-long camp-out… what now? We’ve shared our lives here for a week, gotten so much closer and learned so much together… what now??? Your roving reporter spoke up: “come next Friday night, August 23, to Kathabela’s house for the FULL Regional Reading, we will read every word. We did and some poets came.

We were thrilled to welcome (my poetic sister) Deborah P. Kolodji, organizer (with Naia) of the HNA conference, she read her own and other poets of Southern Califonia with certain pleasure!



kris moon was there, her last night in Southern California at our home, amidst the festivities. Kris painted and gave fans, also tiny pebbled “jinsu stones” representing the lost from disasters in Japan in 2011. She painted 100 pebbles a day for a long time, still painting these tiny gifts. 20130825_092254

Kris’s beautiful poems and footnotes were highlights of the regional reading. Her fantastic story of the dragon Festival that takes place at the same time as the HNA Festival! Her pages alone would inspire a full reading! By “kris moon”

“deep in the mountains . . .
dragons sleep &
clouds are born

(Kiyokawa Village is famous for its Seiryusai or Blue Dragon Festival held in mid-August. A pair of giant straw dragons are made by the old people and students of the junior High school in the Gym of the school. It is a dragon couple, male & female, and they are as long as the gymnasium. On the festival day they are carried by the students with bamboo poles on their shoulders to a huge playing field and park in the village. In the evening a festival is held and villagers and guests write their wishes in strips of paper and tie them to the dragons. meanwhile there is dancing and drumming on a stage nearby. Then the villagers carry the dragon 3 times around the field to the sounds of drumming. Then the dragons return they are burned to the accompaniment of fireworks. It is a ceremony to bring rain & every night that i have been here for the festival it has rained that night sometimes even as the last embers of the dragons are going out.) I can feel those blue dragon spirits sleeping in the mountains i live in, and last year especially, being the year of the dragon…i saw many dragon clouds born.)”


We were delighted to welcome as readers and listers for the Regional Reading a mathematician year-long visitor to Caltech from Japan Yuichiro Fujiwara and his friend Peter Vandendriessche from Ghent, Belgium. Yurichiro read for other Japanese poets and also some of the Midwest poets. Peter continued on through the Midwest. Rick played flutes for the regions and we projected the slides of the region names with a fine picture of the various flutes played.








kris moon (Kris Kondo) painting Regional Fans Reading Tomorrow Friday 8/23 7 PM

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If only all of you could join us tonight… all our faraway poets whose hearts and words joined on the Queen Mary, and all who follow us here. Our dear friend kris moon, (Kris Kondo) staying with us here in Pasadena has sprouted seeds of her art and poems all over our home, the vines of our imaginations grow together so fortunately, having time and space to spread and grow as friends. Such a time so precious, I wish it for all of you. She is now painting as many regional poem fans, haiga art, with the poems of the regioanal poets, especially those of Southern Ca poets from our book, they will be here when poets arrive tonight, Friday, August 23 to read the full text of our Regional Book. kris will also present a small program of her own art, and poems, in addition to giving as many fans to poets as possible! For the regional reading, I asked each poet to send a haiku with a place name in their region, and one with a regionally distinctive interval such as migration, bloom, fest. And a footnote that adds even more connection to giving a sense of the region for those who are not familiar with the place. While the poets and poems of the fantastic regional reading succeeded in bringing the regions strongly alive to us, tonight we will read aloud every word of the book including the footnotes. Whatever group we gather, for our dinner salon will add their voices to the expression of our international poetic oneness and variety. As many of you as possible will be awarded your own poem on a fan from kris.