Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Rhysling Award Winners announced

"Don't Panic"

The Science Fiction Poetry Association recently announced the 2014 winners of the Rhysling Awards for the speculative poems of the year in the two traditional categories of Short Poems and Long Poems. The ceremony was convened at Goddess and the Moon in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, December 12th. This year's chair was Elizabeth R. McClellan.

Poems were nominated from over 49 publications this year. The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science-fiction poetry. It has over 300 members internationally. The active membership in good standing nominates and votes on the Rhysling winners each year.

The Rhysling winners are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and are considered in the SF/F/H/Spec. field to be the equivalent in poetry of the awards given for "prose" work— achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.

The cover for this year's anthology comes courtesy of Francis Reddy, courtesy of the StarChild project, a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center. The artist’s rendering is a conceptual image of the dwarf planet Eris and its only known moon, Dysnomia.

"Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!"

Short Poem Category

First Place
“Turning the Leaves” by Amal El-Mohtar
Apex Magazine, December 2013

Second Place
“Rivers” by Geoffrey A. Landis
Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2013

Third Place
“Music of the Stars” by Bruce Boston
2013 Balticon Program Book

Long Poem Category

First Place
“Interregnum” by Mary Soon Lee
 Star*Line 36.4

Second Place
“Hungry Constellations” by Mike Allen
Goblin Fruit, Fall 2013

Third Place
“I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz” by Rose Lemberg
Goblin Fruit, Summer 2013

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lao Diaspora Project: Refuge of the InvisibLao Exhibition, January 10- 24, 2015

Little Laos on the Prairie, Laos in the House and the Lao American artist Chantala Kommanivanh have spent the better part of 2014 gathering the oral and visual stories of the Lao community as we prepare to mark 40 years since the beginning of the Lao diaspora.

Those efforts are now culminating in one of the first events in the country in 2015 as a storytelling art and photography exhibit at the Vine Gallery entitled: “Refuge of the InvisibLao: A Visual Essay.”

The exhibit will feature the work of acclaimed neo-expressionist Chicago-based artist Chanthala Kommanivanh and past and present portraits of Lao American journeys that were collected by LLOTP Founding Editor, Chanida Phaengdara Potter, and other special guests.

The event welcomes community members, public officials, advocates, scholars, and those interested in immigrant stories from Laos and Southeast Asia.

They're asking many profound questions during this exhibit:
What is your dream after a tumultuous past? After the Laotian Civil War during the Vietnam War era, thousands of Southeast Asians emigrated to the United States, Australia, France and other countries. Thousands more followed as students, merchants, and to simply start new lives. How have the years changed our sense of who we are, who we have been, and who we can be?

During this time, Little Laos on the Prairie will launch its 2015 #BeLaod campaign to promote historically invisible stories of Lao American journeys in the United States.

Stories of displacement, isolation, identity crisis, reflection, hope and happiness are some of the themes that encompass the depth of the path to an American Dream for the Lao Diaspora.

The opening storytelling reception is Saturday, January 10, 2015 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Appetizers and drinks will be served. Originals and prints of artwork will be available for sale. All proceeds goes to The Lao Diaspora Project and their collaborators to continue their work.

The exhibition runs January 10-24, 2015. The Vine Arts Center is located at 2637 27th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It's on the secnd level of Ivy Arts Building in the Seward neighborhood.

[Poem] Flowers from Saturn

Flowers from Saturn

They fell on the outskirts of Savannakhet.
Some men secretly took the stones without heed,
Melting and grinding what they could,

Plying their alchemy of powders and serums,
So certain sons the stuff of heroes would emerge.

Decades later, the true ‘flowers’ came,
Who could not be stopped by blade or flame.

In our desperate flight of blood,
We became bamboo. Others, ash.

Rockets meant for space
Littered our abandoned, perfumed cities.

Starship Sofa covers the Elgin Awards for Science Fiction Poetry Book of the Year

This week Starship Sofa coverage includes the 2014 SFPA Elgin Awards for Book of the Year, including my first place book, DEMONSTRA and Jeannine Hall Gailey's Unexplained Fevers and Bruce Boston's Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems.

A big thanks to Diane Severson Mori who spoke about our books during the Poetry Planet section of the podcast and read selected examples of our work for their readers. She'll soon be covering the winners of the 2014 SFPA Elgin Awards for Chapbook of the Year, including Helen Marshall's The Sex Lives of of Monsters.

I'm grateful to everyone who's been so wonderful in covering the news and helping us all to create a space for speculative poetry for today and future generations. And perhaps previous generations, if we ever perfect time travel.

On a personal level, a big thanks once again to Innsmouth Free Press for their wonderful support over the years and for taking a chance on a book of poetry, and to my colleague Vongduane Manivong for her amazing art that really helped to take DEMONSTRA to the next level.