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,
Tan-Ku Co-Founder,
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.

In its Yearbook 2023, Tanka Kenkyu introduced "DISTANCE."
It is a collection of sequences of Tanka and Haiku published by Shabda Press, Inc. in April 2023.

It is my seventh book and is very special to me.

The book is a selection of our collaborative work of sequences of Tanka and Haiku, which Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji and I wrote together during 2019 - 2022 when the COVID pandemic divided us between the Pacific.

We named this new style of poetry literature "Tan-Ku." We also received an unexpected honor from the California Senate State and Assembly for this book.

I am deeply grateful for Tanka Kenkyu Inc.'s attention to this collection.


About the list of poetry collections and poetry books for the year 2023
(i) The list covers those published between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023.
(ii) The order of the descriptions is author, book title, edition type, page number, price (excluding tax), and place of publication.




Monday, November 27, 2023

On Friday, November 17, I participated in a poetry reading event at Garigari, a live bar in Ikenoue, Tokyo.

Ms. Joy Waller, the co-organizer of the event, also offered me the opportunity to be a performer at the launch party for the latest issue of Tokyo Poetry Journal, a poetry magazine for which she serves as Co-Editor. It was a great honor, and I am very grateful.

Although it was the first time for me to submit my work to the journal, my dream of being published in the journal also came true. Thank you very much to the editors for featuring my English tanka works.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Monday, November 20, 2023

I am pleased to report that my work has been published in TSA Ribbons Fall 2023 Vol19 No.3.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Tanka Editor Ms. Susan Weaver for selecting my sequence from the many works of many members.

I would also like to thank Tanka Hangout Editor Mr. Ken Slaughter.
Thank you very much.



The Past

Mariko Kitakubo, Tokyo, Japan

the bloody red sky
the agony
of hibakusha*
...still there

darker and darker
her shadow each summer
as August approaches
my friend was a spy
for the Allies

the hidden past
growing heavier
did her information
help a Fatman**
and a Little Boy?

at midnight
of Hiroshima Day
and Nagasaki Day
the secret box of feelings
opens by itself

* "Hibakusha, the survivors of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, suffered radiation sickness, the death of family and friends, and discrimination, as rumors spread that the effects of radiation exposure might be contagious.

** "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" were Manhattan Project code-names for the two different types of atomic bombs.

Ribbons - Fall 2023 page 69



Tanka Hangout: Tribute Poems

the blind poet
spoke in English or French,
played koto
I miss you, grandma...
her infinite field of view

Mariko Kitakubo, Tokyo, Japan


...Some poets pay homage to family members. Mariko Kitakubo recalls her grandmother, who was a "blind poet." She played the koto, a traditional Japanese zither. ... by -Ken Slaughter

Ribbons - Fall 2023 page 13


Move to "Tanka Society of America"

Monday, November 13, 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023

On October 8, 2023, I was delighted to have been invited to participate in a poetry reading event organized by NVHA at the Nick Virgilio Writers House in Camden, NJ.

Alongside Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji, I presented a selection of pieces from the Tan-Ku collection "DISTANCE" with percussion for approximately 20 minutes.

It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to introduce the Tan-Ku collection to the poetry community on the East Coast of the United States.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Monday, October 9, 2023


I am in the United States to attend a reading event at Nick Virgilio Writers House in Camden, New Jersey on October 8th. Along with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji, I'll be one of the featured poets in the event.

On my second day in the U.S. on October 4th, I received a wonderful suggestion from haiku poet Mr. Henry Brann to participate in an open mic reading at Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Most of the attendees at the Kelly Writers House event were young university or graduate students. It was an honor to present a tanka reading in both Japanese and English. Some of them were even moved to tears as they heard Tanka for the first time.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Saturday, October 7, 2023

I am excited to share that NVHA has invited me to be a featured poet at their upcoming reading event in Camden on October 8th.

It has been five years since my last reading performance, which was for the Spring 2018 rebuild event.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity to introduce Tan-Ku, a book I co-authored with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji.

*NVHA: Nick Virgilio Haiku Association

The event will be live-streamed from Instagram at @nickvirgiliowritershouse.




Thursday, September 21, 2023

My English tanka poem was published in the Tanka Society of America 2022 Members' Anthropology, "One Moment at a Time."

I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Jim Chessing, the editor of the magazine, and to Ms. Kathabela Wilson for sending a copy via airmail to me.





you were
named after
blue Cosmos


Move to "Tanka Society of America"

Monday, August 28, 2023

Dear Susan Weaver, The Ribbons Editor, and Ken Slaughter, Tanka Hangout Editor.

Thank you very much for choosing my works from among many members' works.


Tanka Hangout: Compassion

her row veering off
the peasant woman plants
tward her crying child

- Issa (1763-1828)


against the power.
the skinny frog
must be you, Issa ...
rooting for you


Selected Tanka

the name of that slope ...
shadow tag
with my mother
when her smile was young


Move to "Tanka Society of America"

Monday, July 31, 2023

Mr. Edward Levinson, a haiku poet, and a photographer, invited me to participate in an open mic reading of "Drunk Poets Tokyo."

It is an event of a private poetry group hosted by Mr. Samm Bennett and Mr. Joy Waller.

Mr. Levinson and I belong to the Japan PEN club, where we got to know each other.

It was my first time taking part in this event, and it had been a while since my previous performance in Japan.

I had a great time with the participants as we were all inspired by each other's expressions. Thank you very much.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Saturday, July 22, 2023