It’s been over a week since I got back from LonCon3 and I’m still basking in the glow. I got to meet some good Sofanaut friends and colleagues for the first time and hang out with them. I also met several of the authors whose stories and/or poetry I’ve read for StarShipSofa, PodCastle or Amazing Stories, which was such a thrill.
It was also an honor to represent Amazing Stories in standing by ready to accept a Retro Hugo Award (1939) for the print magazine’s early editor Raymond A. Palmer, should he be chosen to receive it. I got all dressed up in (sort of) period garb and sat between my friend, Sofanaut and genre history expert Amy H. Sturgis and Connie Willis. Even if he didn’t win, it was still the best part really – that and getting a hug from Kim Stanley Robinson.
If you feel like reading more about my experience at WorldCon 2014 head over to my blog the Diva’s Divine Days.
* * *
On to today’s focus of amazing genre poetry found on the web.
First let’s have a look at the current issue of Ideomancer (June 2014). This is a magazine, which includes fiction, reviews and poetry. I’ve always found their poetry to be of excellent quality with just the right amount of thought stimulation.
Editor Leah Bobet says this (among other things) about this issues of Ideomancer: “Our poetry this month, from Virginia M. Mohlere, Sara Saab, Adrienne J. Odasso, Dominik Parisien, and Lynette Mejía, ties them together with flourishes on memory, identity, family, and a sweet spring-summer wind.”
I’ve been following both Virginia M. Mohlere and Adrienne J. Odasso (Poetry editor for Strange Horizons) on Twitter and/or Facebook for a while now and they are both wonderful people. It’s great to read their wonderful poetry in “print”. Virginia’s “Cardyssey” is personified music of the heart. Or the heart of music personified. I’m not sure which. Sara Saab’s piece “Inheritance, Far from the Center of the World” is a beautiful melancholic longing for connection. Adrienne’s co-authored poem with Dominik Parisien “The Memory Thief” holds the myriad types of memory and memories up to the light and finds them too fleeting. “Princess” by Lynette Mejía brings us back to our deepest childhood fantasies.
* * *
I was pointed toward Liquid Imagination – where reality and fantasy blur by my new Sofanaut friend Katherine Inskip. She has narrated poetry for an upcoming issue. So I had a look, since I don’t believe I’ve come across this magazine before. God, but there are so many! It’s hard to keep track.
Edited by Sue Babcock it’s stated: “Our mission is to publish high-quality stimulating speculative and literary fiction, micro-fiction, and poetry; music and audio works; digital poetry and digital flash fiction; and other artistic forms.” I’d say that about sums it up. While a couple of the poems had audio versions as well, there is no music in this issue. The digital art is striking and I found out most of it was done by Sue Babcock herself, including the one shown here.
This month’s poetry, by Charles Leggett, Dr. Mel Waldman, WC Roberts and James Frederick William Rowe – all poets I’ve not read before, is varied but with a certain mysteriousness about them. My favorite was probably Dr. Mel Waldman’s “The Garden of Secrets”. Come to think of it, Charles Leggett’s poem mentions a Secret Garden as well.
* * *
In Mike Allen’s editorial in Mythic Delirium from July 2014 he gives teasers for the fiction and poetry found in Issue 1.1 (July – September 2014) as well as writing this: “We said goodbye to the print incarnation of Mythic Delirium with a special retrospective issue released in April. Anita and I were quite moved by Diane Severson Mori’s review at Amazing Stories, which went beyond discussing the contents and turned into a tribute, with an accounting of award nominations, links to audio recordings of several of the poems, and even reflections on our zine shared by several of the issue’s contributors. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s definitely worth a look.” That gave me some warm fuzzies! Thanks, Mike!
This first issue of year 2 of the purely digital (New) Mythic Delirium is all about water. We are 2/3 of the way through the issue and new content will be up in September, but what poetry is there already is by Saira Ali. I take “Main Sequence” to be about identity and identity in respect to our relationships; SFPA Grandmaster Jane Yolen’s “Bear Witness” is a call to owning our stories and yet moving forward; “Orpheus” by Geoffrey A. Landis is a poignant reflection on Orpheus’ ascent from Hell and what effect that certain moment when he looked back had on him; Gwynne Garfinkel’s poem “It’s a Universal Picture” looks at our love of horror as long as it’s on film; Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s poem “Deepwater” evokes mythology (without being specific) and joining it to modern day environmental catastrophy. It’s hard to choose my favorite. They are all so good!
* * *
I also just want to mention Goblin Fruit, which came out with another issue since I last mentioned it. Yeah, I’d mention it every time, but I’d like to give other journals some air-time as well. But seriously, Goblin Fruit is awesome. Amal El-Mohtar, who edits it (with assistant Caitlyn Paxson), is also amazing, truly, and I’m so glad I had the pleasure of meeting her and discussing important things like My Little Pony with her and 8 others at LonCon3. Soon after the con was over they published the breakdown of the voting on the Hugo Awards and also posted the first 15 nominations in each category. And do you know what? Goblin Fruit was No. 7 in the Semi-pro ‘Zine category!!! The magazine received over 5% of the total nominations too, so if 2 other ‘zines hadn’t received an even greater percentage over 5% it would have made it onto the ballot. A Poetry ‘zine people! I cannot tell you how happy that makes me! Congratulations Goblin Fruit and Amal!!! This “Spring 2014” issue includes poetry by some of the greats of the genre (Alexandra Seidel, Jennifer Schaumberg Kanke, Rose Lemberg, Mary Turzillo and Megan Arkenberg among others). Go check it out. The art is pretty cool too (as usual).
* * *
On August 24, 2006 (a little more than 8 years ago), Pluto was demoted from its status as a full planet I’d like to include this poem by one of my favorite formal poets, Ann K. Schwader:
dark god dwarfed
by human hubris
Ann’s Blog The Yaddith Times is well worth following. She reviews books, posts poems when the spirit moves her and posts if she has published something.
* * *
One last thing! I’d like to let you know that my reading of Charles Bane, Jr’s poem, “A Universe Collided” on Strange Horizons can be heard in this month’s poetry podcast, hosted by Anaea Lay. Hope you enjoy it!
* * *
Next up: Reviews of two gorgeous chapbooks or an interview. Any drothers?