Wednesday, May 12, 2010


If you are reading this blog you are probably familiar with the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA).  You may also know that its annual award for best poetry of the year.  Its divided into categories, long and short.  In the begining mainstream poets whose work appeared in non-genre publications frequently won the award but now it is rare for a poem by a mainstream poem to be nominated let alone win.

In order for a poem to be nominated it must be nominated by a SFPA member.  Each member is entitled to nominate one poem in each category.  A poem only needs one nomination to be considered so there are lots of poems in the annual Rhysling anthology but you have to wonder why there aren't even more nominations.

Any way I am going to comment on where the nominees were originally published.  15 came from GOBLIN FRUIT a new df/h webzine that seems to have built a huge following in the small community of sf/f/h poetry.  Following a close second is STAR*LINE which is the magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and thus it is the one publication that every SFPA member reads.  Coming in third at 8 nominations is STRANGE HORIZONS a leading sf/f webzine that also has a large list serve associated with it.

 Fourth was the now defunct webzine FARRAGO'S WAINSCOTT with 6 nominations.  The zine was a mainstream literary publication with many writers from the sf/f/h genres appearing in it

Tied for fifth with 5 nominations apiece was ASIMOV'S and the ezine ILLUMEN. For some reason I cannot fathom ASIMOV'S has never done well in the race for the Rhyslings AND THAT COULD BE SAID FOR ALL THE NEWSSTAND MAGAZINES.  The same could be said for ILLUMEN.

At sixth with  4 nominations was MYTHIC DELERIUM a print prozine whose publisher is a past President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, PAPER CROW is a biannual poetry print magazine that can be described either as sf/f/h zine that buys a lot of mainstream speculative work or a mainstream zine that buys a lot of genre work.  The third one in this category is NEW MYTHS is a sf/f ezine.

Occupying 7th by itself with 3 nominations is the very long lasting DREAMS & NIGHTMARES which usually has many more Rhysling nominations and is a magazine that is widely read in the field

8th is somewhat more crowded with 2 nominationsare two defunct or about to be defunct df/h ezines NITEBLADE and DOORWAYS MAGAZINE, SCIFAIKUEST which is a zine that specialises in sf/f/h poetry that uses haiku and other Japanese forms.  Considering the huge popularity of Japanese forms you expect more nominations from this title but really short poems rarely reach the Rhysling ballot.  Lastly there is SYBIL'S GARAGE and IDEOMANCER that can be described the same way as the previously mentioned PAPER CROW.

Coming in 9th with single nominations is the MAGAZINE OF SPECULATIVE POETRY a long running magazine that is highly regarded but rarely makes much of an impact in the Rhyslings, THE MAYO REVIEW which is a mainstream literary annual from Texas A&M-Commerce, ASTROPOETICA which is an ezine that does poetry about stars and other astronomical phenomena, APEX a well known sf/f ezine, BARBARIC YAWP which is a personal blog, the speculative ezine LAYERS OF MAN/LIQUID IMAGINATION, WORDS OF POWER which I never heard of nor does googling reveal anything about it so post a comment if you know anything about it, SLOTH JOCKEY which is a mainstream speculative ezine published by an expatriate living in China, NOT ONE OF US which is a well regarded long running sf/f/h poetry printzine that like the MAGAZINE OF SPECULATIVE POETRY rarely makes an impact in Rhysling nominations,SPACE AND TIME which is the first small press sf/f/h magazine starting in 1964 and inexplicably does not fare well in Rhysling nominations, ABYSS & APEX which is a fairly well known sf/f ezine, CHIZINE a well known Canadian sf/f ezine, CABINET DES FEES is an exine devoted to retelling of fairey tales;,TWIST COLLECTIVE,POET'S ESPRESSO and HOT METAL PRESS are general literary ezine.  ALI ALIZADEH is a personal blog for the writer of the same name.

At a later post I shall comment on the ten nominees that appeared in anthologies or collections.

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