What's New. Information on upcoming reading performance, newly issued books and more. Mariko Kitakubo

Mariko Kitakubo Profile

Mariko Kitakubo

Born in Tokyo.
Living in Mitaka-city, Tokyo
Japan Writers' Association,
Japan PEN Club,
Association of Contemporary Tanka Poets,
Japan Tanka Poets' Society,
Tanka Online Project,
Tanka Society of America.

In commemoration of
15 years of tanka reading
The Latest Tanka Sequence
Original Tanka presented at
Spoken World Live

Contemprary Tanka Poet Mariko Kitakubo.

Shot Glass Journal, an internet magazine, posted 3 Tank sets.

* Click the images below to view the pages in Shot Glass Journal.


About Tan-Ku

Tan-ku is a collaborative form we developed where one poet writes a tanka and the other poet answers with a haiku, or vice versa.



Beach in Malaysia

by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

grey skies
the blues inside
me (D)

through rainforest
to the cove
accompanied by lightning
and a rainbow (M)



by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

early twilight
the angry voices
next door (D)

darkness is hiding
under children's brims
will be a sunny day. . .
after the war (M)



by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

milkweed in bloom
a caterpillar hidden
under a leaf (D)

who can
recognize me
the joy
or loss—
metamorphosis (M)

Monday, February 6, 2023

Shabda Press will publish a book titled "Distance" in April 2023, which is a completely new type of poetry, "Tan-Ku*," which I co-created with my close friend Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji, a well-known English haiku poet.

* "Tan-Ku" is a form of literature where pieces of haiku and tanka are interwoven. "Tan-Ku Sequence" is composed of two or more haiku and tanka works, whereas "Tan-Ku Set" is composed of single work of haiku and tanka. Both of them are completed with a title.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

On December 25 PST, (2022.12.26, JST), an online poetry journal "Scarlet Dragonfly Journal" published "The Color Red."

It is a set of English tanka & haiku (Tan-Ku) I created together with Ms. Debora P. Kolodji, my best friend haiku poet.

My sincere thanks to the editor, Ms. Kathleen Trocmet.



The Color Red

a fir tree
in the maple forest
green . . .
melancholy (M)

dressing up drab clothes
with Christmas bling
I feel like singing (D)

— Mariko Kitakubo, Japan / Deborah P Kolodji, USA


Move to "Media Coverage"

Monday, December 26, 2022

Tan-Ku Sequence, The Queen Mary, a collaboration with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji, will be published on page 40 of California Quarterly Vol. 48 No. 4 Winter 2022.

My sincere thanks to her, the editor of this poetry magazine, and my good friend with whom I have worked together to create Tan-Ku.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Ms. Autumn Noelle Hall,
Thank you so much for picking up my tanka for the Tanka Studio, TSA Ribbons Fall 2022: Vol. 18, Number 3.


Tanka Studio

77 years...
Birkenau, Auschwitz
the days in camp
her trace
covered with snow

Move to "Tanka Society of America"

Friday, December 9, 2022

Eucalypt, an Australian tanka journal, published in its Issue 33, 2022 my tanka poem about my trip to a Northern European country for reading performance.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Ms. Julie Anne Thorndyke, the editor of Eucalypt.


long flight
to Stockholm
july 2022
of Russian airspace

Thursday, December 8, 2022

#FemkuMag published a Tan-Ku set, "Coming of Age", a collaboration with Ms. Deborah P Kolodji.






Coming of Age

angel hair pasta
her baby tooth
beneath a pillow (D)

first kiss
under the olive tree,
garden party
on this mellow
summer solstice (M)

Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo



Monday, November 21, 2022


On October 26, from 4:00 p.m. PST (October 27, from 8:00 a.m. JST), I participated in the Wednesday Poetry Meeting hosted by Kathabela Wilson and read three pieces of new tanka and haiku sequences that I composed with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji.

Many comments and opinions were raised by the participants, and I think it was a meaningful opportunity for me because I was able to realize once again poetry is a way to inspire each other through our creativity regardless of the language in which the poems are written. Thank you very much.

I would like to devote myself even more to creating poems keeping in mind my pride, responsibility, and confidence as a Tanka poet.

After the meeting, Ms. Kathabela Wilson posted a wonderful message:

Amazing Wednesday meeting Poets on site zoom welcoming, grateful listening to three beautiful sequences "Tan-Ku" (tanka/ Haiku sequences) by Mariko Kitakubo in Tokyo, Japan, and Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California, with discussion and questions, heart to heart with Kris Kondo Maxianne Berger, Sigrid Saradunn , Richard Matta, Rita Melisiano. Beautiful performance including Mariko percussion, and inspirations from Rick Wilson on jade Chinese dizi , hummingbirds and squirrels and your Kathabela! We started with a short collaborative session of cherita and gembun collaboratively writing little 4 and 6 line stories in real time on a shared screen by Mariko, Kris, Maxianne, Debbie, Rita, and Kathabela. This meeting began inside our living room gallery, with the last half hour out on our balcony! That's when the hummingbirds and squirrels joined in!


Move to "Reading Performance"

Thursday, October 27, 2022

On September 10, an online poetry journal "Scarlet Dragonfly Journal" published "Beach House."  It is a set of English tanka & haiku I created together with Ms. Debora P. Kolodji, my best friend haiku poet.

My sincere thanks to the editor, Ms. Kathleen Trocmet.



Beach House

the iridescent
splash still there
after your dive...
eternal summer
eternal ocean (M)

the sea pounding
even in my dreams
dolphins (D)

— Mariko Kitakubo, Japan / Deborah P Kolodji, USA


Move to "Media Coverage"

Saturday, September 10, 2022

On August 6 at 3:00 pm PST (August 7 at 7:00 am JST), Mr. Rick Lupert, a poet, hosted the Hiroshima Day Zoom reading event. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Lupert for selecting me as one of the four performers, including the organizer, for the event.

I put my heart and soul into my Japanese-English tanka reading performance to deliver my message beyond the language.

Mr. Lupert's poems about his experience in Hiroshima were so moving that I almost shed tears. The songs & guitar performances by Ms. Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom and Mr. Joel Siegel were truly soul-stirring and inspirational.

It was a deep and intense time that made me realize once again that there are no national borders in our hearts for peace and prayers to appease the precious souls that took away from us.

Thank you all for this precious time.


Please watch the event video on Facebook.

Hiroshima Day Commemoration and Reading from The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express

Although the video froze for a while in the middle of my performance, the audience commented that they could feel the spirit of the reading from the audio alone. In a sense, it was an unintended experimental effect for me.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Sunday, August 7, 2022