Bryan Thao Worra,
President, SFPA

(NEW YORK) Recently, as the President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, I gave a presentation at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up museum CTRL+ALT: A Culture Lab On Imagined Futures. The title of my presentation was “Short Futures: Beyond the Epic. ”

The event was held on November 11-12th at the Pearl River Mart in New York. There’s a lot to process and consider when you have over 40+ artists engaged in such a new concept. I currently have photos from the event at Flickr, for anyone who’s particularly curious to see this gathering in detail.
I’m happy that space was made to accommodate our eclectic artistic styles and interaction methods with other artists.
I gave my workshop on writing micro-fan-fiction and poetry to visiting students, demonstrating that not all science fiction had to be huge epics, and many great stories could be told in just a few words. I was very impressed by their energy and enthusiasm. They readily took to ideas such as the drabble, the scifaiku, the 6-word novel, and similar concepts. Here’s hoping that we fear from them in the future!

Overall, I emerged with some significant new understandings of possibilities of performance and presentation. But also a question of how we in the speculative poetry community might rally resources for our own creative artists to put forward an interesting response to many of the issues discussed here.

Given a similar space and resources, could we present a cultural and literary exhibition in our own words, on our own terms, that is groundbreaking, vibrant and engaging? What might that look like.

The question is compelling as we approach 40 years as an organization.  This is an intriguing question of culture shift we need. How might we gather as poets that goes beyond a convention, a conference, or the ways we have in the past? As speculative poets, I might well say we have taken up a challenge to push ourselves to the very limits of the literary arts and not be satisfied merely with what’s been done, but what can be done.
There are surely more thoughts on this to discuss in the future.

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