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Yes, it's a real -- though very new -- thing, thanks to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, and officially proclaimed by the Governor of Minnesota. Find out more here:

November 3rd was selected to honor the 60th anniversary of space dog Laika's historic mission aboard Sputnik 2. She was (thank you, Wikipedia) the first animal to orbit our planet -- and also the first Terran female in space:

In honor of International Speculative Poetry Day, the SFPA has put up a special page of poems (and one lovely artwork) remembering Laika. One of them is mine.

Please go read, enjoy, & remember.
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The winners of the 2017 SFPA Speculative Poetry Contest were announced today. Almost 350 entries were received in three categories (dwarf-length, short, & long), from a remarkably diverse and international group of poets.

Three prizes will be awarded in each category. All placing poems will be published on both the SFPA website and the StarShipSofa podcast!

For all the winners, their brief biographies, and a bit more explanation, check here:

[Full disclosure: Yours Truly did enter the contest this year, but will not be found on the list of winners.]
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If your National Poetry Month is starting to feel a little tired & mundane, don't forget to check out the 2107 Rhysling Poets' Showcase offered on the SFPA's SPECPO blog.

The Showcase features poems from this year's Rhysling Anthology, a Rhysling Awards voting tool for members of Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association -- and an excellent snapshot of the year's best speculative poetry, for everyone.

Find six exciting poets -- & links to eight of their poems -- here:

And don't forget to check out the rest of the Showcase, as well!
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Looking for more speculative poetry in your National Poetry Month?

Check out SPECPO, the blog site for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.

This month, all month long, they're showcasing the poets featured in this year's Rhysling Awards anthology -- a voting tool for members, and an excellent read for all fans of SF/F/H poetry.

The first two Showcases are already up, here & here.

Each Showcase offers links to several 2016 poems nominated by the SFPA membership. It's all free (of course), but you can also learn how to order a PDF anthology, pre-order a print anthology, or even join SFPA yourself.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
National Poetry Month starts tomorrow (in the USA, anyhow)!

Are YOU ready?

If not, here's a list of helpful links to take you from bad to verse. Don't get caught with your pantoums down!

What is National Poetry Month, anyhow?

How can I celebrate it?

How can I get more free poetry in my life? (Try Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Rattle -- I use all of these.)

Where can I find out more about speculative (SF, fantasy, horror, etc.) poetry?

OK, that should get you started. I'll be posting more -- I hope -- on poetry all during April.

Truth in LJing: I commit poetry. Fairly regularly. I'm a member of SFPA, & the author of several collections of speculative poetry. My most recent, Dark Energies (P'rea Press 2015) was a Bram Stoker Award Finalist.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Issue #22 of Eye to the Telescope, the SFPA's online journal of speculative poetry, has gone live!

In keeping with the season, this is the "Ghosts" issue. Edited by Shannon Connor Winward, it offers 27 spectral poems ranging from Gothic horror to folktale to spooky SF. There's a range of forms as well, though this issue runs pretty heavily toward free verse.

And, yes, Yours Truly does have something here: the terza rima sonnet "New World Haunting."
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The SFPA (Science Fiction Poetry Association) has announced the winners of the 2016 Elgin Awards. Named for SFPA's founder, Suzette Haden Elgin, these awards recognize the best chapbook and full-length collection of speculative poetry published in the preceding two years.


1st -- Undoing Winter, by Shannon Connor Winward (Finishing Line Press, 2014)

2nd -- Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town, by John Philip Johnson (Graphic Poetry, 2014)

3rd --A Guide for the Practical Abductee, by E. Kristin Anderson (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014)

Full-Length Collection:

1st -- Crowned, by Mary Soon Lee (Dark Renaissance Books, 2015)

2nd -- The Robot Scientist's Daughter, by Jeannine Hall Gailey (Mayapple Press, 2015)

3rd -- Dark Energies, by Ann K. Schwader (P'rea Press, 2015)

Why, yes -- I am feeling slightly frabjous today. (Also very grateful.)

Read more about the contest, and the full list of nominees, here.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)

I’ve been traveling, so this announcement of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2016 Rhysling Awards is more than a little belated . . .

But is there ever a bad time for good news?

Check out the complete results here. (Maybe check the results for Long Form first.)

And, if you feel so inclined, you can still order your own copy – print or PDF -- of the 2016 Rhysling Anthology here. 176 pp. of nicely produced spec poetry goodness!

(Profound apologies for the fizziness – but whenever a formal Lovecraftian sonnet sequence can get this sort of recognition, it’s time for a Grateful Happy Dance.)
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Staff blogger Diane Severson’s[ profile] divadiane1 latest post is up at the Amazing Stories site, & this time she’s offering a themed November 2015 Round Up.

Entitled Women Destroy Hard SF Poetry!!! ( title permission granted by John Joseph Adams), this comprehensive look at women writing verse on the harder end of the SF spectrum includes links to work by 22 poets. Five are featured, and one of those five is Yours Truly. Here’s the full list:

Lisa Timpf
Roxanne Barbour
Landon Godfrey
Wendy Van Camp
Sarah Blake
Margaret Rhee
Ruth Berman
Ann K. Schwader, featured
Marianne Dyson, featured
F.J. Bergmann, featured
Christina Sng, featured
Liz Bennefeld, featured
Deborah Guzzi
Renee M. Schell
Lark Bertran
Deborah P. Kolodji
Marge Simon
Stephanie Wytovich
Snigdha Chaya Saikia
Ada Hoffmann
A.E. Ash
Bronwyn Lovell

Though I don’t generally consider myself a hard SF writer, I do enjoy taking inspiration from the sciences (astronomy is a favorite), and I’m delighted to be part of this distinguished sisterhood. There’s lots to read – and think about – here!

ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2015 Halloween Poetry Reading site is up, and expanding day by day. Edited by Liz Bennefeld & Shannon Connor Winward, this annual online tradition offers atmospheric art & horrifying poems for the haunting season.

With a couple of exceptions, most of the poems are read by their creators – who also share snippets of information about the poems themselves, as well as web sites or blogs where more work awaits discovery.

This year, I finally managed to hold my mouth right long enough to contribute a reading to this project! Listen to my long measure poem “Wind Shift” (and many other spooky verses!) here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
We’re a little more than halfway through National Poetry Month (in the US), but new reading opportunities for speculative poetry lovers keep popping up online! Here are two to start off your weekend:

1. Issue #16 of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s online journal Eye to the Telescope is up! This one is music-themed, & guest-edited by Diane Severson [ profile] divadiane1. It’s a big issue – 22 poems – featuring both Usual Suspects & newer names in the spec poetry field. The poems themselves range widely, from free verse to haiku to various flavors of formal. Find it all right here.

(Truth in LiveJournaling: I have the lead-off poem in this one. It’s a pantoum, "Siren Stars.")

2. is celebrating National Poetry Month with poems from “notable names in the science fiction and fantasy fields.” The most recent post is “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dragon” by Mari Ness, but they’ve been doing this since 2011 – from what I can tell. Find the whole fascinating assortment here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
I know I’ve already posted about haiku this week, but this time is (a) way less about me, and (b) very much about the speculative side of this form. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Amazing Stories blogger Diane Severson [ profile] divadiane1 is featuring haiku in her Genre Poetry Round Up column this month, & this one’s a must read if you have any interest in SF, haiku, or both. The generously sized column is loaded with information & links to speculative haiku, both in SF-focused journals & more mainstream venues. And then there’s Twitter!

I’ve got one haiku in this (and it’s one I’m pretty proud of, honestly), but many members of SFPA come in for well-deserved mentions – accompanied by samples of their work. There are also plenty of tips for both haiku poets in search of markets & haiku readers in search of new material.

Find all this micro-poetic goodness here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
If you’re like me, 2015 started off a little too fast . . . leaving you without enough time to enjoy the great spec poetry offered online in January.

Fortunately, it’s still there waiting for you! (Nice thing about the Internet.) Here are a couple of items to get you started:

[ profile] divadiane1's recent Poetry Planet segments on the StarShipSofa podcast have featured winners of the SFPA’s Elgin Awards for best spec poetry collection & chapbook. These are really lovely readings, with a generous selection of poems from 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners in each category.

Find Part 1 (Poetry Planet #14) here.

Find Part 2 (Poetry Planet #15) here.

If you prefer to read rather than listen to your speculative poetry, the SFPA’s online journal Eye to the Telescope has issue #15 up. This one is guest-edited by Anastasia Andersen, and features work by women poets. Find it here.

[Truth in LJing: I have a poem in this issue. It’s a sonnet, “Self 2.0”]
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
It’s still National Poetry Month – but are you starting to crave something a little different? More speculative?

Speculative poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird, or simply unclassifiable) is widely available online for your reading pleasure. Here are a few links to get you started:

Science Fiction Poetry Association

A one-stop source of information on all things poetical & SFnal (fantasy & horror, too!). In addition to their print journal, Star*Line, the SFPA offers a free online journal, Eye to the Telescope. The current themed issue is “Mundane Speculative Poetry” – though it’s anything but mundane.

Another great source for information on SF poetry in particular is Diane Severson’s [ profile] divadiane1 speculative poetry review blog on the Amazing Stories site. This month, she’s offering a Poetry Round-up, with several links of interest – and comments -- to anyone seeking to broaden their poetry reading habits.

If your taste runs a little more to the dark side, the Horror Writers Association site offers a monthly poetry column, which is available to all.

The HWA is also reading now for their first-ever Poetry Showcase! Again, you do not need to be an HWA member to submit work. The submissions deadline is April 30.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
Just in time for National Poetry Month (or at least the midpoint of it), the Science Fiction Poetry Association's online journal Eye to the Telescope is up with a new issue. This time, the theme is Mundane Speculative Poetry (i.e., no starflight, no aliens, nothing but the Earth & little old us).

Guest-edited by Roger Dutcher (editor of the long-running Magazine of Speculative Poetry), this issue includes:

A Performance of The Planets • John Grey
Ghazal • Joshua Gage
Silly Comets • Geoffrey A. Landis
These Final Skies • Ann K. Schwader
Milky Way • Sierra July
Idiolect • P. S. Cottier
Lassoing the Sun • John C. Mannone
Lacus Mortis • Lee Clarke Zumpe
Troubleshooting the Sun • Carol Lynn Grellas
Mars • F. J. Bergmann

For more information on Mundane Science Fiction, check out the Mundane Manifesto here.
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StarShipSofa podcast’s latest return to the Poetry Planet offers Diane Severson ([ profile] divadiane1) reading the winning & placing poems in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s recent poetry contest.

Winners & two runners-up in Long, Short, & Dwarf forms are included. The winning Dwarf entry, however, managed to escape the good ship Sofa before it could be read! All winners & runners-up for this competition may be found here, with Diane's MP3 readings of the winners.

With or without escaped poems, I’ve been enjoying each & every visit to the Poetry Planet, and I commend the Sofa’s captain Tony C. Smith for making this a part of his podcast.

As ever, you can find this episode (#320) here, or on iTunes. The whole episode is well worth your listening time, & includes a fascinating interview with Cassini Project scientist Dr. Linda Spilker.  
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
While I was tangled up with another project (more news on that soon, I hope!), the StarShipSofa podcast made not one, but two visits to Diane Severson's ( [ profile] divadiane1) Poetry Planet. These visits cover all the SFPA Rhysling Award winners & runners-up for 2013.

6 of these 7 remarkable poems can be found on Sofa episode # 309, but one requires -- and merits! -- a bit more space.  Thus, the second visit in episode # 310, for Wade German's "The Necromantic Wine."  Fans of Clark Ashton Smith, or atmospheric fantasy in general, shouldn't miss this one.

This feature of StarShipSofa seems to improve with each episode, & I'm grateful to both Tony C. Smith & Diane S. for giving speculative verse a place on the Sofa.

ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
As a complement to the better-known Nebula & Hugo awards (which do not offer a poetry category), the Science Fiction Poetry Association offers awards of its own for superior achievement in speculative verse.

This year, there were four separate awards: the Rhyslings (Short & Long Form), the Dwarf Stars Award (for verse 10 lines or shorter), the 2013 SFPA Poetry Contest (with Jane Yolen as the final judge), and the all-new Elgin Awards (for best full-length collection & chapbook published in the preceding year)..

For a list of Rhysling winners, with bios & photos, go here.  To see the Dwarf Stars winners' list, check here.  2013 Poetry Contest results -- and the poems themselves! -- can be found here.  The Elgin Awards results are listed here.

Tireless spec poetry chronicler Diane Severson (
[ profile] divadiane1) also offers informative blog posts about the awards on the Amazing Stories site.   Find her comments about the Rhysling Awards here, and her Elgin/Dwarf Stars post here.

For those who prefer their imaginative verse in audible form, Diane's latest Poetry Planet segment for the StarShipSofa podcast is up now here, or on iTunes.  (Search for episode # 303.) This segment offers readings from the Elgin & Dwarf Stars winners.  Show notes for this segment are also available, here.

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The 2013 Rhysling AnthologyThe 2013 Rhysling Anthology by John C Mannone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I have one poem in this anthology.

Originally intended as a voting tool for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's annual Rhysling Awards, the Rhysling Anthology has become an attractively produced, perfect-bound reader's guide to the year in speculative poetry. All poems were nominated by the members of SFPA.

This year's edition offers 174 pages of short-form and long-form verse in an unusually wide range of forms, styles, & subject matter. The most familiar names in this field are well-represented, as are a vibrant collection of newcomers. Fairy tale & myth appear to be particularly favored this year, though science fiction and darker fantasy also come in for a large share of attention.

The quality of this year's nominees is almost uniformly high, and most readers are likely to find several favorites. A full listing of the poems & poets featured can be found here.

View all my reviews
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
SFPA Grandmaster Jane Yolen will be serving as the judge for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2013 poetry contest!

The contest opens on July 1 & closes on August 15th. Winners to be announced on October 1.

Information on contest rules can be found here. Please read them carefully.

Aside from the judge, the contest administrator, & preliminary readers, this contest is open to all writers of speculative verse.

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