It was an honor and privilege to have Minneapolis-based poet Josh Brown as our Elgin Award Chair for the largest year of nominees in the history of the SFPA: Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. He recently shared his personal remarks on the process as chair at SPECPO.
Coordinating the 300+ members of our international organization to read through and consider 52 books is no small task. Especially when those books come from such diverse traditions as the Hmong, Anglo-Burmese, Filipina, South Asian, and Vietnamese Diaspora, classical science fiction, Christian and Islamic allegories, the early history of computing, haikus, experimental poetics, the work of SFF Poetry Grand Masters, and so much more. Some were by first-time authors, and some were by poet laureates of their cities. But so many of our members found space and time in their own busy schedules to consider all of them.
I thank Josh for his firm and steady hand on this, because rallying our membership to read and engage with so many diverse texts as these, across 19 nations and almost every time zone, especially with people who have a poet's temperament is truly no small task.
I applaud all of our members who boldly tolk on the challenge and helped Josh, I, and the executive committee of the SFPA come to a consensus on the matter. I look forward to all of the discussions that are yet ahead for these works, and the other nominees.
My personal and official congratulations, then, to Jeannine Hall Gailey, Neil Aitken, Jenna Lê, Marge Simon, Sandy DeLuca, Margaret Rhee, Wendy Rathbone, and John C. Mannone in our 39th year of the SFPA as the recipients of the 5th-ever Elgin Awards for Speculative Poetry Books of the Year.
May the times ahead be filled with even greater encouragement and inspiration and opportunity for them, and may the very best of their words always find their way to the stars they're meant for.
Full Length Category
First: Field Guide to the End of the World • Jeannine Hall Gailey (Moon City Press, 2016)
Second (tie): A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora • Jenna Le (Anchor & Plume, 2016)
Second (tie): Small Spirits: Dark Dolls • Marge Simon (Midnight Town Media, 2016)
Third: Dead Starships • Wendy Rathbone (Eye Scry Publications, 2016)
First Place: Leviathan • Neil Aitken (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016)
Second Place: Radio Heart, or; How Robots Fall Out of Love • Margaret Rhee (Finishing Line Press, 2016)
Third Place: Apocalypse • John C. Mannone (Alban Lake, 2015)