The Science Fiction Poetry Association offers annual awards for speculative poetry: The Rhysling Awards recognize individual poems. The Dwarf Star Awards are given for short-short poems, while the Elgin Awards are presented for genre poetry books and chapbooks. Each year, the SFPA publishes the Rhysling Anthology, comprised of works nominated by its international membership for the Best Poems of the Year. The Rhyslings were first established in 1978, named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” Rhysling’s skills were said to rival Rudyard Kipling’s. In real life, Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling,” which has since become its official name. Winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Rhysling Awards are considered in the speculative literature field to be the poetry equivalent of the awards given for prose— achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.
- Only current members of SFPA may nominate; however, the author of the nominated poem need not be an SFPA member.
- Only speculative poems first published in the preceding calendar year are eligible.
- You may not nominate your own poem.
- You may nominate one short poem (1-49 lines) and/or one long poem (50+ lines). Nomination in both categories is not mandatory. For our purposes, prose poems under 500 words will be classified as short poems, while those 500 words and over will be classified as long poems. Please note: spaces, stanza breaks, titles, true (non-fictitious) epigraphs, and the poet’s name are not included in the line or word count. If you are unsure about the eligibility or category of a poem, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Self-published work is allowed as long as the poem first appeared in 2017.Full publication details must be provided.Include the title of the poem; the poet’s name as it appears (and the poet’s full name, if known); and publication information for the source in which the poem appeared:
- Book: title, press name and address or website, year of publication, and editor if an anthology.
- Periodical: name, issue, and editorial address or website; and (if possible) a link to the issue table of contents or the poem’s web page.
- Website or blog: date of first publication and link to the poem’s web page
Please DO NOT include the poem itself! We will obtain the poem text directly from the poet to avoid errors.
To learn more about the Rhysling Awards and the Rhysling Anthology, please go to our main Rhysling Award page. You can also view the full detailed policies on the Rhysling Awards here. To view the contents of all the Rhysling Anthologies since 1978, visit the Rhysling archive.
This Year’s Chair:
An American poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, Linda D. Addison is the first African-American winner of the Bram Stoker Award, which she has won four times to date. Her first two awards were for her poetry collections Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001) and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007). Her poetry and fiction collection How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend won the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection. She received a fourth HWA Bram Stoker for the collection The Four Elements, written with Marge Simon, Rain Graves, and Charlee Jacob. Sycorax’s Daughters was released in 2017 by Cedar Grove Publishing, a horror anthology of fiction and poetry by African-American women, edited by Kinitra Brooks PhD, Susana Morris PhD and Linda D. Addison. She is also a founding member of the CITH (Circles in the Hair) writing group. You can follow her on twitter at: @Nytebyrd45