Science Fiction Poetry Association


The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) is a society based in the United States with the aim of fostering an international community of writers and readers interested in poetry pertaining to the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror. The SFPA oversees the quarterly production of literary journals dedicated to speculative poetry and the annual publication of anthologies associated with awards administered by the organization,[1] i.e. the Rhysling Awards for year's best speculative poems in two length categories[2] and the Dwarf Stars Award for year's best very short speculative poem.[3] Every year since 2013,[4] the SFPA has additionally administered the Elgin Awards for best full-length speculative poetry collection and best speculative chapbook.[5]

Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association
PurposeTo bring together poets and readers interested in speculative poetry.
Region served
Bryan Thao Worra
Vice President
Colleen Anderson
Brian Garrison
Rich Magahiz


The SFPA was established as the Science Fiction Poetry Association in 1978 by author and linguist Suzette Haden Elgin.[6]

Elizabeth Chater served as the first president of the SFPA, followed by Gene Wolf.[7] Other SFPA presidents have included Deborah P Kolodji, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Bryan D. Dietrich, and, most recently, Bryan Thao Worra.[8]

In 2017, members of the SFPA voted to rename the organization the "Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association," while maintaining the acronym "SFPA."[9]

Since 1978, the organization has overseen the production of the speculative poetry journal Star*Line,[10] currently edited by Jean-Paul Garnier.[11] In addition to publishing poetry and reviews of books released in the relevant genres, Star*Line provides SFPA members and other subscribers with market listings and industry news bulletins. Past editors include Vince Gotera, F. J. Bergmann, Marge Simon, and founder Suzette Haden Elgin.[12]

Since 2011, the SFPA has additionally published the online poetry magazine Eye to the Telescope.[13] In order to broaden the scope of the organization's literary footprint, Eye to the Telescope has a rotating editorship, with a different editor responsible for selecting the theme and contents of each issue of the journal.[14]



  • Star*Line (1978- )[15]
  • Eye to the Telescope (2011- )[16]

Annual anthologiesEdit

  • Rhysling Anthology[17] (1981- )[18]
  • Dwarf Stars (2006- )[3]


  • The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook by Suzette Haden Elgin (2005, Sam's Dot Publishing)[19]
  • The Alchemy of Stars, ed. Roger Dutcher and Mike Allen (2005, Prime Books)[20][21]
  • The Alchemy of Stars II, ed. Sandra J. Lindow (2019, SFPA)[22]


Since its inception in 1978,[23][20] the organization has administered the Rhysling Award for best science fiction poetry of the year.[24][25] 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.[2] The SFPA also bestows the Dwarf Stars Award for short poem (up to ten lines).[26] Since the 1980s[23] the Rhysling-winning poems are included in the Nebula Awards anthology published by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,[27] along with (since 2008) the Dwarf Stars winning poems.[28] The two awards involve the publication of annual anthologies of nominated works.

In 2013, SFPA inaugurated the Elgin Awards for poetry collections, named after SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin.[29] Two awards are given annually, for best speculative chapbook and best full-length speculative poetry collection.[30]

Since 1999,[31] the SFPA has intermittently conferred Grand Master status on select poets who "for a period of no fewer than 20 years" have been actively publishing speculative poetry deemed "exceptional in merit, scope, vision and innovation." Poets must be living to be considered for the honor.[32] Recipients of the award include Ray Bradbury in 2008[33] and Jane Yolen in 2010.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About SFPA". Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Rhysling Award". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 13 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Science Fiction Poetry Association, The Dwarf Stars Award (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  4. ^ "Elgin Award Winners". Locus. 27 August 2013.
  5. ^ "2020 Elgin Award Chapbook Winners and More Specpo in Small Doses". Book Riot. 14 December 2020.
  6. ^ Silver, Steven H (28 January 2015). "Obituary: Suzette Haden Elgin". SF Site News.
  7. ^ Allen, Mike; Webster, Bud (2005). The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook. Sam's Dot Publishing. pp. 83–85. ISBN 978-1930847811.
  8. ^ "SFPA Officers and Staff". Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ SPFA Gets a New Name, Specpo, March 21, 2017 (accessed 11 April 2017)
  10. ^ Star*Line web page
  11. ^ Glyer, Mike (2021-05-06). "Cora Buhlert Wins 2021 Space Cowboy Award". File 770. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  12. ^ "Star*Line History". Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Eye To The Telescope
  14. ^ Romie Stott, "Looking Forward, Looking Back: An Interview with David Kopaska-Merkel", Strange Horizons, 28 July 2014 (accessed 25 Sept. 2016)
  15. ^ Gombert, Rich. "Star*Line History: Introduction".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "The Archives". Eye to the Telescope.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB): Rhysling Anthology (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  18. ^ Prior to 1981, the nominees were published in a special issue of Star*Line. Science Fiction Poetry Association, Rhysling Archive (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  19. ^ Przybyszewski, Chris (2005). "The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook". SF Site Reviews.
  20. ^ a b Tom Easton, "The Reference Library" Archived 2016-09-17 at the Wayback Machine, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 2006 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  21. ^ Elizabeth Barrette, Review: The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, edited by Roger Dutcher and Mike Allen[permanent dead link], Strange Horizons, 8 February 2006 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  22. ^ Worra, Bryan Thao (31 December 2020). "Looking Back on 2020 in Speculative Poetry". Twin Cities Geek.
  23. ^ a b Kress, Nancy, "Rhysling Winners," Nebula Awards Showcase 2003, Penguin, 2003 (ISBN 1101191074, 9781101191071)
  24. ^ 2016 Rhysling Award Winners, Locus, 21 June 2016 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  25. ^ Science Fiction Awards Database, Rhysling Awards (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  26. ^ Science Fiction Awards Database, Dwarf Stars Award (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  27. ^ Nebula Anthologies, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. John Clute, David Langford, and Peter Nicholls (2016) (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  28. ^ Bova, Ben, "Poetry: the Rhysling Award Winners," Nebula Awards Showcase 2008, Penguin, 2008.
  29. ^ Mike Glyer, "2016 Elgin Award Candidates", File 770, June 20, 2016 (accessed 30 Sept. 2016)
  30. ^ Diane Severson, "Poetry- Elgin Award Nominee Showcase", Amazing Stories, August 14, 2014 (accessed 30 Sept. 2016)
  31. ^ a b "Grand Master Award". Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. ^ 2015 SFPA Grand Masters Announced, Locus Magazine, 3 Aug. 2015 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  33. ^ "Ray Bradbury". SFBook Reviews.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit

  • Official website