Rhysling Award


Rhysling Award
Awarded forBest speculative poetry of the prior year
CountryUnited States
Presented byScience Fiction Poetry Association

The Rhysling Awards are an annual award given for the best science fiction, fantasy, or horror poem of the year. Unlike most literary awards, which are named for the creator of the award, the subject of the award, or a noted member of the field, the Rhyslings are named for a character in a science fiction story: the blind poet Rhysling, in Robert A. Heinlein's short story "The Green Hills of Earth".[1] The award is given in two categories: "Best Long Poem", for works of 50 or more lines, and "Best Short Poem", for works of 49 or fewer lines.[1]

The nominees for each year's Rhysling Awards are chosen by the members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA). Each member may nominate one work for each of the categories. The nominated works are then compiled into an anthology called The Rhysling Anthology, and members of the Association then vote on the final winners. From 2005 to 2011, the Awards were presented in July at a ceremony at Readercon. While the "Best Short Poem" category allows very short poems to be entered the SFPA also has the Dwarf Stars Award which is for poems from one to ten lines.[2]

In 2005, the SFPA published an anthology of the winning poems, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase.[3][4]

Best Long Poem winners

Best Short Poem winners

  • 1978 (tie): Duane Ackerson, "The Starman"; Andrew Joron, "Asleep in the Arms of Mother Night"; Sonya Dorman, "Corruption of Metals"
  • 1979 (tie): Duane Ackerson, "Fatalities"; Steve Eng, "Storybooks and Treasure Maps"
  • 1980 (tie): Robert Frazier, "Encased in the Amber of Eternity"; Peter Payack, "The Migration of Darkness"
  • 1981: Ken Duffin, "Meeting Place"
  • 1982: Raymond DiZazzo, "On the Speed of Sight"
  • 1983: Alan P. Lightman, "In Computers"
  • 1984: Helen Ehrlich, "Two Sonnets"
  • 1985: Bruce Boston, "For Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets"
  • 1986: Susan Palwick, "The Neighbor's Wife"
  • 1987 (tie): Jonathan V. Post, "Before the Big Bang: News from the Hubble Large Space Telescope"; John Calvin Rezmerski, "A Dream of Heredity"
  • 1988 (tie): Bruce Boston, "The Nightmare Collector"; Suzette Haden Elgin, "Rocky Road to Hoe"
  • 1989: Robert Frazier, "Salinity"
  • 1990: G. Sutton Breiding, "Epitaph for Dreams"
  • 1991: Joe Haldeman, "Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh"
  • 1992: David Lunde, "Song of the Martian Cricket"
  • 1993: Jane Yolen, "Will"
  • 1994 (tie): Bruce Boston, "Spacer's Compass"; Jeff VanderMeer, "Flight Is for Those Who Have Not Yet Crossed Over"
  • 1995: Dan Raphael, "Skin of Glass"
  • 1996: Bruce Boston, "Future Present: A Lesson in Expectation"
  • 1997: W. Gregory Stewart, "Day Omega"
  • 1998: John Grey, "Explaining Frankenstein to His Mother"
  • 1999: Laurel Winter, "egg horror poem"
  • 2000: Rebecca Marjesdatter, "Grimoire"
  • 2001: Bruce Boston, "My Wife Returns as She Would Have It"
  • 2002: William John Watkins, "We Die as Angels"
  • 2003: Ruth Berman, "Potherb Gardening"
  • 2004: Roger Dutcher, "Just Distance"
  • 2005: Greg Beatty, "No Ruined Lunar City"
  • 2006: Mike Allen, "The Strip Search"
  • 2007: Rich Ristow, "The Graven Idol's Godheart"
  • 2008: F.J. Bergmann, "Eating Light"
  • 2009: Amal El-Mohtar, "Song for an Ancient City"
  • 2010: Ann K. Schwader, "To Theia"
  • 2011: Amal El-Mohtar, "Peach-Creamed Honey"
  • 2012: Shira Lipkin, "The Library, After"
  • 2013: Terry A. Garey, "The Cat Star"[5]
  • 2014: Amal El-Mohtar, "Turning the Leaves"[9]
  • 2015: Marge Simon, "Shutdown"
  • 2016: Ruth Berman, "Time Travel Vocabulary Problems"
  • 2017: Marge Simon, "George Tecumseh Sherman's Ghosts"
  • 2018: Mary Soon Lee, "Advice to a Six-year-old"[10]
  • 2019: Beth Cato, "After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls"[11]
  • 2020: Jessica Jo Horowitz, "Taking, Keeping"[12]


  1. ^ a b David Langford, "Rhysling Award." The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 3rd edition (online). Ed. John Clute, David Langford, and Peter Nicholls. 2013. Accessed 19 February 2013
  2. ^ The Science Fiction Poetry Association: Dwarf Stars
  3. ^ Roger Dutcher and Mike Allen, ed. (2005). The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase. Science Fiction Poetry Association in cooperation with Prime Books. p. 170 pp. ISBN 0-8095-1162-2. This collection presents more than twenty-five years of the best poetry in the field of speculative literature.
  4. ^ Elizabeth Barrette, Review: The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, edited by Roger Dutcher and Mike Allen, Strange Horizons, 8 February 2006 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  5. ^ a b Silver, Steven H (September 3, 2013). "Rhysling Award". SF Site. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "2018 Rhysling Award Winners". 6 July 2018.
  7. ^ http://sfpoetry.com/ra/pages/19rhysling.html/
  8. ^ "Science Fiction Poetry Association".
  9. ^ "News". 3 December 2013.
  10. ^ http://sfpoetry.com/sl/edchoice/40.2-4.html
  11. ^ http://sfpoetry.com/ra/pages/19rhysling.html
  12. ^ "Science Fiction Poetry Association".

External links

  • Official list of Rhysling Award winners
  • SFPA Rhysling Anthology
  • The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase