Note to readers–this form was new to me, and I was dubious. Was it some kind of overgrown tanka or stanzaic free verse? I started writing and wrote a long sequence I like a lot. It’s super narrative yet surprisingly tight. Check it out!
Please share with any appropriate venue.
The Special Features section of the Atlas Poetica web site is seeking submissions for a collection of ‘25 Cherita’ edited by ai li. The Cherita guidelines are concise as is the form. It is a linked short poem of three stanzas of one, two and three lines.The Cherita [pronounced CHAIR-rita] tells a story and is the Malay word for story or tale. It is a flexible form, capable of being imagist, lyrical, surreal, anecdotal and concrete.
It is your story. You can write about life: births, deaths, anniversaries, betrayals, disappointments, abortions, bankruptcies, joblessness, vendettas, suicides et al. Your stories can also include : travel, work, hobbies, passions both light and dark, eating disorders, night shifts, cross dressing, the erotic and everything else that makes us who we are in the universe. Do not be afraid to let us hear your authentic voice, and to allow us to share the vision of who you really are or can be. Your words will bring all your stories to life. It will be a rich shared experience that will benefit us all.
The Cherita has grown enormously since its inception in 1997 and will continue to grow as your stories unfold over the years. Our ancestors over smoky fires in caves, told stories and these have been passed down over the centuries. Many were in the oral tradition whilst others survived as cave drawings or murals, and more importantly as written records. M Kei has generously given Cherita poets and writers this splendid opportunity to continue with this age-old tradition of story telling but with contemporary influences, and so I hope you will embrace his kind gesture with as much enthusiasm as you can muster. I wait in eager anticipation to receive and read your Cherita.
For further inspiration, do read cherita by Larry Kimmel, Sheila Windsor, ai li and other Cherita poets on ATPO, their respective websites and on Twitter.
The general Atlas Poetica guidelines apply, therefore poets must be 16 or older. Please visit for complete guidelines and to view previous Special Features. Poems should be contained in the body of an email. Please query before sending attachments.
Submissions: Poets are invited to send up to twenty poems each, but only one poem will be chosen by each poet, in keeping with the theme and format of the ‘25 Poems’ features on the Atlas Poetica website. Reprints and socially published are acceptable, as long as they include previous publication information.
Deadline: Deadline for submitting to ‘25 Cherita’ is December 31, 2016. The planned publication date is Spring 2017. Special Features are published on an irregular schedule.
Email address for submissions: findme (at) aili (dot) uk — subject line: Cherita