19 March 2004

Rhysling Award Nominations

It's time for members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association to make nominations for the Rhysling Award, so please do. Not a member? What's wrong with you?! Here's membership information -- It costs 18 American dollars, you get the bimonthly Star*Line journal (currently edited by Tim Pratt, though he only has one more issue as editor, I believe), you get the annual Rhysling Award anthology, and you get to make nominations and then vote for the Rhysling. And for only $300, you could become a life member! It's cheaper than the NRA!

(No, I don't have any idea what an SF poem is. I expressed the only opinions I have on the matter back in September in this post. When I was going through poems to nominate, I considered any that didn't seem to be limited in scope to normal, everyday reality.)

In case you're curious, my nominations for best poems of 2003 will be:
Short Poem (up to 50 lines): Tomatoes Cannot Tolerate Frost by Nathan Parker, from Metastatic-Whatnot

Long Poem (50+ lines): Quasimodo Takes the Grand Tour by Tobias Seaman, from Strange Horizons
Poems which I almost chose were "Once" by Rae Armantrout (from Conjunctions 40 -- the poem itself is not online, alas), "Schrodinger's Top Hat" by Peg Duthie (from Star*Line July/August 2003, also not online), and, for the long poem, "The Ship at the Edge of the World" by Jeff VanderMeer (from his collection The Day Dali Died: Poetry and Flash Fiction, which has a couple of poems I prefer, but they were first published earlier than 2003 ... one of them won a Rhysling, now that I think about it). On another day, in a different mood, I might have chosen one of my runners-up rather than the ones I did choose. Or maybe not. I just wish I could nominate more than one poem...

It's unfortunate that there isn't an award for best book or chapbook. If there were, I would undoubtably nominate Centuries, a magnificent collection of 100-word prose poems by Joel Brouwer, whose first book, Exactly What Happened, is the best collection I know of for someone who says they hate contemporary poetry. You can read some of Brouwer's Centuries poems, which are considerably more surreal and abstract than most of his earlier poems, here, here, and here.