Awards! Awards! Science Fiction Poetry Awards!

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After an extended summer break I’ve returned with lots of exciting news and a whole bunch of wonderful books, which I’ll be reviewing for you in the coming months.

It’s award season!!! With WorldCon this weekend, that may seem obvious, but the Hugo Award is for everything but poetry. So, the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) has created a few awards to fill the gap. The Rhysling Award, which will be announced this weekend at WorldCon

Suzette Haden Elgin
Suzette Haden Elgin

in San Antonio, Texas, was the first such award for SF Poetry. It’s awarded in two categories: short (under 40 lines) and long. Next came the Dwarf Stars Award, which gives more attention to extremely short forms and poetry under 10 lines. This year the SFPA introduces the Elgin Award in recognition of the best collection of poetry in full-length and chapbook length categories. I only wish they would include an anthology category. I read several excellent anthologies that I would have loved to nominate for the award.

The winners and placing works for both the Elgin and the Dwarf Stars Award were announced on the SFPA website recently. As I said above, the Elgin Award is a new award, named in honor of the association’s founder Suzette Haden Elgin. It is awarded to the best traditionally published chapbook (under 40 pages of poetry) and book (40 pages and over) as voted on by the SFPA membership. The winners:

Chapbook:

  1. Out of the Black Forest, F. J. Bergmann (Centennial Press)
  2. The House of Forever, Samantha Henderson (Raven Electrick Ink)
  3. The Edible Zoo, David C. Kopaska-Merkel (Sam’s Dot Publishing)

Book:

  1. Lovers & Killers, Mary Turzillo (Dark Regions Press)
  2. Notes From the Shadow City, Bruce Boston & Gary William Crawford (Dark Regions Press)
  3. Come Late to the Love of Birds, Sandra Kasturi (Tightrope Books)

I can be quite pleased with myself that I reviewed all six of these collections right here on Amazing Stories! Clearly, I enjoyed each of these collections enough to write a review of them. A discussion of Bruce Boston’s collaborative collection is embedded within the first part of my interview with him. Go to my author page for links to the reviews/interview. You’ll be able to read snippits of the poems as well as listen to several readings of complete poems for each collection. Congratulations to all the authors, especially Mary Turzillo and F. J. Bergmann!!

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The Dwarf Stars Award is given annually to the best poem 10 lines or less. The editors/compilers of the anthology, this year Linda Addison and Stephen M. Wilson, (who sadly passed away recently) collect all the poems they can find, from anywhere and everywhere, print or digital, make the first selections and publish an anthology, from which the SFPA membership votes for their three favorite poems. I enjoyed this year’s anthology immensely. It’s a quick read, due to the length of the poems and so I was able to read it several times in order to whittle the number of poems that spoke to me down to the ones I thought should win. I’m quite happy with the results! The winners:

  1. Basho after Cinderella (iii), Deborah P. Kolodji (Rattle 38)
  2. The Hidden, Mary Turzillo, Lovers & Killers (Dark Regions 2012)
  3. Sarcophagus, N. E. Taylor, inkscrawl 3

Women sweep the category!! Way to go ladies, especially Deborah Kolodji!

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I will be producing a winners’ showcase podcast (on Poetry Planet for StarShipSofa.com) with a poem from each of the winners and placers of both awards. It will most likely go live on Wed. 4 September 2013. I urge you to follow this post for the official announcement.

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Next time I’ll be discussing the Rhysling Award winning poems. The SFPA sponsored another contest this year and the announcement of the winners should happen sometime within the next month. Also in the works: More reviews and an interview with poet/editor (Goblin Fruit) Amal El-Mohtar.

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