Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 Elgin Award Winners Announced!

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 LĂȘ, 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)

Chapbook Category
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)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Moving Mountains on a budget

SEARAC recently posted a helpful video for folks interested in figuring out how to get to the Moving Mountains summit in October on a budget. I applaud this resource being made available to prospective attendees and find much of the information may be applicable for other organizations putting together their own evens in the future. The advantage is that for many of these ideas, they build vital skill sets that are practical and worthwhile outside of this event and issue alone. If you're going to apply these, I'd recommend getting a start on it now, and I would be concerned that the time is very short to fulfill the funding drives because transport tickets will only increase between now and October.

Friday, September 08, 2017

SFPA Dwarf Star Awards Announced

This year’s chair for the Dwarf Star Awards, Robin Mayhall gave us many fine works to consider. Our members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association voted, and here are the results:

First Place: “aster than the speed of lightf” by LeRoy Gorman 
Second Place: “Lover” by Holly Day
 Third Place: “Loss” by Sandi Leibowitz .

 Chair Robin Mayhall said “Congratulations to each of these winners. Your work is extraordinary—truly the best of the best short poems published in 2016! Many thanks to those who nominated poems and to all of the members who voted. If you haven’t yet read through your copy of the 2017 Dwarf Stars Anthology, please pick it up and read these wonderful works, as well as the many other surreal, funny, sad, spooky and beautiful poems therein.”

 For those who want a list of the 2017 candidates, please click here. This award is given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association to recognize the best speculative poem of 1–10 lines published in the previous year.

Mieng at the Museum in Philadelphia!

Our amazing friends at Laos In The House recently gave us the update on what’s happening throughout September in Philadelphia starting this weekend. If you’re in the area be sure to catch it!

Friday, September 8, 6-8PM Opening Reception: Hurry Up and Wait
Curated by Adriel Luis (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center), this new exhibition at the Asian Arts Initiative takes on art that explores the moments within in the complex process of migration. September 1 – December 15, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 10AM-8PM PHLA Kitchen Opens at Art Museum's Perelman Cafe -
A delicious new menu created for Philadelphia Assembled by twelve Philly culinary artists and storytellers. This month's dishes are inspired by survival, and will feature mieng! Come taste this Luang Prabang specialty available September 9 – October 8, open Tuesday through Sunday 10-2:30PM.

Thursday, September 14, 6-8PM Recipes For Change with Catzie Vilayphonh -
Join us at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center for a special evening of food and storytelling. Presented in partnership with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and The Philadelphia Commission for Women, as part of Welcoming Week, an annual series of events where communities bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness on the benefits of welcoming everyone. Participants will make mieng and hear the story of a trickster who uses it to teach a lesson.