2020 Rhysling Award Winners!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association recently announced
their 2020 winners for the speculative poems of the year! Further details about this year’s winners can be found at http://sfpoetry.com/ra/awards/20winners.html

rhysling winners Square

2020 Rhysling Award—Short Poem: Jessica J. Horowitz
Winning poem: “Taking, Keeping”
Appeared in Apparition Lit 5

Born in Korea, Jessica now writes speculative fiction and poetry in New England, where they balance their aversion to cold with the inability to live anywhere without snow. Previous works can be at Flash Fiction Online, Fireside, DSF, Apparition Lit. and others. They blog infrequently at pengolin.wordpress.com and have slightly more frequent feelings and opinions on Twitter @transientj

2020 Rhysling Award—Long Poem: Rebecca Buchanan
Winning poem: “Heliobacterium daphnephilum”
Appeared in Star*Line 42.3

Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer, and a regular contributor to evOke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Abyss & Apex, Cliterature, Corvid Queen, Eye to the Telescope, Mirror Dance, Silver Blade, and Star*Line, among other venues.

Second Place—Short Poem: Caroline Mao
“when my father reprograms my mother {”
Appeared in Strange Horizons, Fund Drive

Caroline Mao is a designer and computer science student at Barnard College Columbia. She loves reading, New York City, and bubble tea.

Second Place—Long Poem: Theodora Goss
“The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly”
Appeared in Uncanny 28

Theodora Goss is the World Fantasy Award–winning author of the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format; the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia (2014); and debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List, and her work has been translated into eleven languages. She teaches literature and writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. Visit her at TheodoraGoss.com.

Third Place—Short Poem: Sandra J. Lindow
“Creation: Dark Matter Dating App”
Appeared in Asimov’s SF, July/August

Sandra J. Lindow has served as SFPA’s VP and acting president. Presently she will be co-editing reviews for the new SFPA blog. Her most recent poetry collection is The Island of Amazonned Women. She teaches, writes, edits and shouts at squirrels for digging up and eating her canna lilies. She has more Rhysling nominations and near-wins than anyone ever.

Third Place—Short Poem: Tyler Hagemann
“The Day the Animals Turned to Sand”
Appeared in Amazing Stories, Spring

Tyler Hagemann was born and raised in Lindsay, Ontario, but has spent the last decade in Toronto. He is a recent graduate of a psychology program, and holds a BFA in theatre.

Third Place—Long Poem: Kyla Lee Ward
Poem: “The Macabre Modern”
Appeared in The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)

Kyla Lee Ward has released two collections of dark and fantastic poetry through P’rea Press—The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities and The Land of Bad Dreams—as well as publishing short fiction, articles and a novel. She won the inaugural Australian Shadows Award for poetry and various works have garnered other Shadows and Aurealis Awards, and Stoker, Ditmar and Rhysling nominations. An actor, and sometime host with the Rocks Ghost Tours, she has travelled widely and rhymed adventurously. Her interests include history, occultism and scaring innocent bystanders.

Third Place—Long Poem: Michael H. Payne
Poem: “Ode to the Artistic Temperament”
Appeared in Silver Blade 42

Michael H. Payne’s poems have appeared in places like Silver Blade, Gathering Storm, and the 2019 Poetry Nook anthology.  His short stories have shown up in Asimov’s, Zooscape, and 11 of the last 12 Sword and Sorceress anthologies, while his novels were issued by Tor Books and Sofawolf Press.  Check hyniof.com for further details.

This year’s chair was David C. Kopaska-Merkel. He edited Star*Line in the late ’90s, and later served as SFPA President. He won the Rhysling award (long poem) in 2006 for “The Tin Men,” a collaboration with Kendall Evans, and has edited two Rhysling anthologies. He twice took second place Elgin awards: for SETI Hits Paydirt, 2015, and The Edible Zoo, 2014. He was voted SFPA Grand Master in 2017. His poetry has been published in scores of venues, including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Polu Texni, Illumen, and Night Cry. He is the author of 31 books; several are available on Smashwords and Amazon. The newest is a poetry collection, The Ambassador Takes One for the Team, from Diminuendo Press. Kopaska-Merkel edits and publishes Dreams and Nightmares, a genre poetry zine in its 34th year of publication. He and his wife live in a 120-year-old farmhouse. He shares a keyboard with two cats. His blog is: dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com  or follow him at @DavidKM on Twitter.

Since 1978, the Rhysling Awards have been an annual award given for the best science fiction, fantasy, or horror poem of the year. The Rhyslings are named for a character in a science fiction story: the blind poet Rhysling, in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” The award is given in two categories: “Best Long Poem”, for works of 50 or more lines, and “Best Short Poem”, for works of 49 or fewer lines. The nominees for each year’s Rhysling Awards are chosen by the international membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) which promotes the creation and reading of
speculative poetry, a genre of verse that incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other genres. You can visit them online at www.sfpoetry.com

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