2008 News Archive

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December 2008

SFPA Announces Call for 2009 Rhysling Award Nominations
Nominations for the 2009 Rhysling Awards will be open Jan. 1, 2009, through Feb. 2, 2009. Speculative poems published in 2008 are eligible for the SFPA's most prestigious award. Learn more about the Rhysling Award. An archive of winning poems is also available.

Speculative Poet Receives Prestigious Fellowship
Speculative poet Bryan Thao Worra has received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for poetry for 2009. Literature Fellowships are the Arts Endowment's most direct investment in American creativity, encouraging the production of new work and allowing writers the time and means to write. The fellowships alternate annually between poetry and prose. For 2009, 42 poets will receive fellowships of $25,000 each. This year there were more than 1,000 applications from across the US. Thao Worra will use the fellowship to complete his next book and travel across the U.S. observing Laotian-American refugee communities. Thao Worra currently lives in Minnesota and in August 2007 released his first full-length collection of speculative poetry, On the Other Side of the Eye. One of the most widely published Laotian writers, Thao Worra has seen his work in many anthologies and journals, including Bamboo Among the Oaks, Paj Ntaub Voice, Whistling Shade, Urban Pioneer, Tales of the Unanticipated, Unarmed, the Asian Pacific Journal and the Journal of the Asian American Renaissance. He will release a new book, Barrow, in April 2009. Visit his blog at thaoworra.blogspot.com.

October 2008

SFPA President to Present at Haiku North America 2009
SFPA President Deborah P Kolodji has announced that her presentation on speculative haiku/scifaiku, "Haiku Speculations and Crosscurrents," has been accepted for Haiku North America 2009, which will take place from August 5-9 in Ottawa, Canada, at the National Library of Canada.

"This acceptance, to me, signifies a definite shift in the perception of scifaiku/speculative haiku by the mainstream haiku community," Debbie says. "My presentation is slotted for a 30 minute time slot. I would welcome any speculative poets near Ottawa in the audience." Visit our Events page or the Haiku North America 2009 website for more information on the event. Debbie reports that she has also proposed to give a modified version of the presentation at the 2009 WorldCon in Toronto, but as of this writing, she has not yet heard back from that committee. Debbie also posted on the SFPANet group that she has noticed several other recent events that seem to signify greater mainstream acceptance of or interest in speculative poetry—at least haiku poetry:

The Autumn 2008 issue of Moonset, a mainstream haiku newspaper published in Oregon, has a feature on scifaiku.

The late Bill Higginson (who sadly died last Saturday) and his wife Penny Harter gave a presentation on "sky haiku" to the Fall 2007 quarterly meeting of the Haiku Society of America in New York. This involved haiku written for images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Haiku from that meeting were published in the HSA Newsletter.

More and more names from the mainstream haiku community are turning up in the pages of Scifaikuest.

Kolodji and her co-editor have discovered "more and more speculative poems in mainstream haiku publications" from places like Simply Haiku, Haigaonline, and bottle rockets that have ended up on the Dwarf Stars shortlist.

The 2008 Dwarf Stars anthology will contain a haiku by Cor van den Heuvel, who edited The Haiku Anthology, a staple of any mainstream haiku poet's library. "It's an exciting time to be a speculative poet!" Debbie says.

August 2008

2008 Grandmaster Award to Ray Bradbury2008 Grandmaster Award Presented to Bradbury
On Saturday, August 23, officers of the Science Fiction Poetry Association presented Ray Bradbury with the 2008 Grand Master Poet Award at his Moby-Dick-themed 88th birthday party, held at the Mystery and Imagination Bookstore in Glendale, Calif. President Deborah P Kolodji, Treasurer Samantha Henderson, and Rhysling Awards Chair Drew Morse were on hand to present the Grand Master plaque to Mr. Bradbury. George Clayton Johnson also said a few words about the filming of Moby Dick.

Learn more about the 2008 Rhysling Awards or get details about Mr. Bradbury's selection as SFPA 2008 Grandmaster.

2008 Grandmaster Award to Ray Bradbury
SFPA Treasurer Samantha Henderson, President Deborah P Kolodji and Rhysling Awards Chair Drew Morse present Ray Bradbury with his Grandmaster Award plaque.

July 2008

2008 Rhysling Winners and Grandmaster Announced
The 2008 Rhysling winners and 2008 SFPA Grandmaster have been announced.

2008 Rhysling Winners Photo Page

June 2008

Speculative Poetry Workshop at the California Science Center
2008 Apollo-Soyuz
W. Gregory Stewart, Deborah P Kolodji, Denise Dumars, Nancy Taylor, Lois P. Jones, Kath Abela Wilson, and Apollo Command Module for Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: launched July 15, 1975; returned to Earth July 24, 1975.

On Saturday, June 7th, six members of the Southland Poets of the Fantastic had a speculative poetry adventure at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. After admiring space photographs, playing games of virtual soccer and Gravball, and wandering through exhibits on light, molecular biology, and transportation, poets lunched and talked poetry.

Next were the Sketch Foundation Gallery Air and Space Exhibits where poets viewed vintage spacecraft such as the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Apollo Command Module, the 1966 Gemini 11 Space Capsule, and the 1961 Mercury MR-2 Capsule. This was followed by an hour of writing poems to the prompts inspired by the museum exhibits. The afternoon ended with a sharing of poems written that day.

May 2008

Poetry Panel at Oasis, Sunday, May 25
2008 Oasis Panel

The SFPA was well represented at the poetry panel at the Oasis convention in Orlando.  SFPA members Malcolm Deeley, Bruce Boston, Chris Ambrose (moderator), Marge Simon, and John Tumlin shared the panel with artist Guest of Honor (GOH) Paul Vincenti.

The panel was entitled "Brave New Worlds of SF Poetry" (in honor of writer GOH David Gerrold).  In addition to the traditional reading of poetry, the panel explored the relationships between poetry and the visual arts.  Several examples were given where themes from one media crossed boundaries to provide inspiration in another.

Although the panel was sparsely attended (at no time was the panel outnumbered), the discussion and exchange of ideas was quite enjoyable for all present.

2008 WisCon Poetry Reading
2008 WisCon
F.J. Bergmann is second from left; Sandra Lindow is third from left.

Sandra Lindow coordinated the 2008 WisCon poetry reading which featured the following poets: F.J. Bergmann, Elissa Malcohn, and Sandra Lindow. The reading took place at Michaelangelo's Cafe in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

SFPA Official Archives Transferred
2008 Eaton Archives transfer
Top: Gwido Zlatkes, Dana Stamps II, Deborah P Kolodji, Stephen M. Wilson, Geoffrey A. Landis, Denise Dumars, W. Gregory Stewart, g.o. clark, Jeff Green, Ann Frenkel 
Bottom: Chrystine Julian, Samantha Henderson, Richard Gombert, Kendall Evans, Mary Turzillo, Howard Hendrix

On Saturday, May 17, 2008, the Science Fiction Poetry Association official archives were transferred to the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasty, Horror, and Utopian Literature at the University of California–Riverside. Dr. Melissa Conway was on hand to ceremoniously accept the archives from SFPA publication archivist Richard Gombert, who was accompanied onstage by SFPA president Deborah P Kolodji and SFPA treasurer Samantha Henderson.

The transfer was also celebrated by a poetry reading and open mike, followed by a SFPA dinner at Tio's Tacos. Poets participating in the reading and open mike were Deborah P. Kolodji, W. Gregory Stewart, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mary Turzillo, Samantha Henderson, Kendall Evans, Denise Dumars, Howard Hendrix, g.o. clark, Chrystine Julian, Stephen M. Wilson, Jeff Green, Dana Stamps II, Dan Wu, Rachel Neff, Gwido Zlatkes, Ann Frenkel, and Scott Denning.

Grand Master Nominations Announced
Five poets have been nominated for the 2008 Grand Master of Speculative Poetry Award and have accepted their nominations. The nominees are Ray Bradbury, Joe Haldeman, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Marge Simon, and Steve Sneyd. A Grand Master of Speculative Poetry must be a living poet who has been actively publishing within the target genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy for a period of no less than twenty years, and whose poetry has been noted to be exceptional in merit, scope, vision and innovation. A poet need not be a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association to be awarded this honor. Members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association will be voting for the Grand Master Award on the Rhysling Award ballot next month.

Winners of Balticon 42 Poetry Contest Announced
The winners of the Balticon 42 Poetry Contest have been announced. First Place was awarded to Patricia Budd, of Portland ME for "Wind Up," dedicated to Kepler, Newton, Carl "Oisk" Erskine, and Jim Bouton. Second Place went to Diana Chien of Holmdel, NJ for "I Love You for Your Brains, Not Your Looks" (Zombie Love Song). Third Place was given to Christa A. Bergerson of Lombard, IL for "Sekhmet Upon the Horizon."

SFPAns win 2008 RTA "Moving Minds" Poetry Contest
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), in cooperation with The Lit and the Cleveland chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), recently sponsored the third round of its well-received "Moving Minds: The Verse and Vision Project." "Moving Minds" pairs the work of local poets with the work of graphic artists based in the region to produce placards that are displayed on RTA buses and trains. The following SFPA poets are winners of this year's "Moving Minds" contest:

Joshua Gage • "Microphone"
Geoffrey A. Landis • "Ways to Tell if Your Cat is a Space Alien" (excerpt)
dan smith • "Dreaming Itself Blue" (excerpt)
Mary Turzillo • "Matchbook"

SFPAn Bruce Boston Wins Asimov's Readers' Award
Bruce Boston's poem "The Dimensional Rush of Relative Primes" has won the 2008 Asimov's Readers' Award. The poem appeared in Asimov's SF, April-May, 2007, and in Boston's collection Shades Fantastic (Gromagon Press). Read it at the Gromagon Press site: gromagonpress.com /librarytwentyfive.html

April 2008

SFPA Poets Win Stoker Awards
2008 Charlee Marge Linda
Charlee Jacob, Marge Simon, Linda Addison (WHC 2000, Denver, CO)

Superior Achievement in Poetry: BEING FULL OF LIGHT, INSUBSTANTIAL by Linda Addison (Space and Time)

Superior Achievement in Poetry: VECTORS: A WEEK IN THE DEATH OF A PLANET by Charlee Jacob & Marge Simon (Dark Regions Press)

Superior Achievement in a Collection: PROVERBS FOR MONSTERS by Michael A. Arnzen (Dark Regions Press)

March 2008

Bryan Thao Worra Receives $6,000 Artist's Grant
2008 Other Side2008 Thao Worra

Bryan Thao Worra of Saint Paul receieved $6,000 as part of the Artist Initiative Grant program—to promote and build new audiences for his first book of poetry and his recent work, especially among historically underserved audiences, and to complete his second book of Laotian American speculative poetry. His first book of speculative poetry, On The Other Side Of The Eye, was released in August, 2007 by Sam's Dot Publishing. For more information: arts.state.mn.us/grants/2008/08_aa_ai.htm and tinyurl.com/2lqk6c

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