A SFPA Grand Master designation may be conferred by the SFPA President with consensus of the membership to an individual living at the time of selection whose body of work shall reflect the highest artistic goals of the SFPA, who shall have been actively publishing within the target genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy for a period of no fewer than 20 years, and whose poetry has been noted to be exceptional in merit, scope, vision and innovation. To date, the SFPA has conferred four Grand Master Awards, to Jane Yolen (2010), Ray Bradbury (2008), Robert Frazier (2005) and Bruce Boston (1999).
A call for Grand Master nominations will be published in Star*Line in the same issue as the annual announcement of Rhysling winners. Any member in good standing may propose a Grand Master candidate via letter or e-mail to the SFPA President. Grand Master nominations will be collected for two months, and the deadline for receiving nominations will be clearly stated in Star*Line.
No more than five nor fewer than two candidates may be selected to appear on the ballot. A “No Award” option will be included on the ballot along with the names of the Grand Master candidates. If “No Award” wins the plurality vote, then no award will be given in that particular year.
Concurrent with nominations for Rhysling poems, names of Grand Master nominees, with bibliographies, will be published annually in the Rhysling Anthology for voting consideration.
The President may, after reviewing names proposed by individuals from the membership, and with proof that a plurality of those SFPA members voting on the Grand Master ballot support that nominee, confer upon an individual poet deemed so worthy the title of Grand Master of Fantastic Poetry. The Grand Master title will be conferred with the consent of the Board, the current Rhysling Chair, the editor of Star*Line, and members of the Web Committee, who with the President, have the authority to break a tie vote in the balloting. Said officers and volunteers may, at their discretion, offer an electronic voting alternative to the membership for the Grand Master balloting, but a paper ballot will be available to any SFPA member who needs or desires one.
The individual honored with the Grand Master title need not be a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, nor of any other writer’s organization, professional affiliation or other body; neither shall such membership impede the selection of any individual for this title.
A Grand Master shall be named no more often than annually. The title of Grand Master need not be conferred in any given year. The President may not self-confer the title of Grand Master, nor reserve this title for such time as the President leaves or has left office.