Monday, February 02, 2015

In Memoriam: Suzette Haden Elgin (1936-2015)

The founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association passed away on January 27th.

She had a significant impact on my poetry and many others around the world as she worked to push the limits of what we might expect of speculative verse.

As SF Site pointed out in their obituary, "Elgin began publishing in 1969 with the story “For the Sake of Grace” and followed it a year later with the novel The Communipaths. She may be best known for the Native Tongue trilogy. In 1978, she founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and their Elgin Award is named in her honor."

In 2005, she published the Science Fiction Poetry Handbook which encapsulated many of her thoughts on the matter. It wasn't a big book, but it gave some interesting thoughts on some of the places science fiction poetry could go and how a beginner might go about taking part in it all.

In 2014, I received the Elgin Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association for Book of the Year. I wish that we'd had a chance to meet, but I'd known for some time it wouldn't come to pass because of her health in her later years. But I'm glad to see that she's left behind such a legacy and inspired so many others to imagine and share their voices with the world.

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