Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Dwarf Star Award Winners

As the President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, it is my privilege and honor to announce the 2016 Dwarf Star Award Winners.

Now in its tenth year, this award is given by the Science Fiction Poetry Association to recognize the best speculative poem of 1–10 lines published in the previous year. Although hundreds of excellent very short science fiction, fantasy, and horror poems are regularly published each year, they seem to be mostly overlooked in the Rhysling Award process.

In the history of the Rhysling Award, few poems of 10 lines or fewer have been nominated, and none has won. Yet, there seems to be a surge of interest in short forms. It is not uncommon to find excellent scifaiku, tanka, cinquains, and other speculative short poems in poetry journals. The Dwarf Stars Award acknowledges excellence in this specialized field.

Our thanks this year to Dwarf Stars editors Jeannine Hall Gailey and Lesley Wheeler!

This year’s first place winner:
We Begin This Way by Stacey Balkun, Gingerbread House 16

Stacey Balkun received her MFA from Fresno State and her work has appeared or will appear in Gargoyle, Muzzle, THRUSH, Bodega, and others. She is a contributing writer for The California Journal of Women Writers at A 2015 Hambidge Fellow, Stacey served as Artist-in-Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2013. Her chapbook, Lost City Museum, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications. You can visit her website at

Gingerbread House Literary Magazine is dedicated to publishing quality poetry & fiction with a magical element. “Take your fairy tale and twist it. Bend your fantasy to suit your needs. Be original and fresh, loose and lovely.” They publish six times a year, every other month.

Additionally, the voting membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association selected the following poems for 2nd and 3rd place:

2nd Place (3-way tie)
“at the barre” by Julie Bloss Kelsey, Rattle 51

The Doorman by F.J. Bergmann, Grievous Angel, May 2015

Weathering by Sandi Leibowitz, Silver Blade 25

3rd Place
Alice was chasing white rabbits out of a black hole by John C. Mannone, Abbreviate Journal, July/August 2015

Congratulations to all of the winners! A reminder to all active members that nominations for the 2017 Dwarf Stars Awards will open on April 1st, 2017 and conclude on May 15th.

The SFPA was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in speculative poetry and is an international literary organization. It produces two journals and confers three annual awards in speculative literature. You can visit us online at

No comments: