2009 News Archive

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December 2009

SFPA Introduces New Official Moderated Member Forum
(NB: the forum was underutilized and has since been removed)
A team working under the direction and with the advice of SFPA Vice-President Karen A. Romanko has developed, installed and launched a new official forum for SFPA member discussions.

Although several online communities and groups exist for discussions of speculative poetry, the poetry marketplace and the SFPA itself, none of these groups is moderated with specific rules and guidelines in place. The new forum is not meant to replace any of these other message boards and groups. It is an additional place for SFPA discussion that the officers and web team hope will prove useful, informative and safe for members who seek a flame-free area for discussion. Romanko and SFPA webmistress Robin Mayhall have administrative rights in the new forum, and three members have volunteered to be moderators: Amal El-Mohtar, Marcie Tentchoff, and Paula Berman. These moderators will monitor the forum for violations of established, clear-cut rules and guidelines and will take action if needed—and only when needed. All of the team members agree that they hope to have little reason to use the moderator "powers" provided by the message board software.

All SFPA members are encouraged to check out the forum and post at will. Any questions about the forum can be posted in the forum itself. The moderators are taking notes and developing a FAQ as well as tweaking the forum guidelines with the intention of publishing an updated set of rules, if needed, in approximately three months.

2009 Dwarf Stars Award Nominees Announced
The nominees for the 2009 Dward Stars Award, representing the best short-short speculative poetry published in 2008, have been announced. More than 50 poems of 1 to 10 lines have been nominated for this award, which is voted on by SFPA members who review the nominees in a yearly anthology.

The Dwarf Stars Award and Anthology were established in 2006. The 2006 Anthology was edited by Deborah P Kolodji, and the 2007 and 2008 editions were produced by Kolodji and Stephen M. Wilson. Copies of all three previous years' anthologies are still available for order. Be on the lookout for more information on the SFPA Forum and in Star*Line about the upcoming 2009 anthology and voting procedures.

Writer-Editor Janet Fox Dies at 68
Locus Online reported on Dec. 10 that Janet Fox, a highly respected and well-loved writer and editor in the speculative poetry field, has passed away. Several SFPA members expressed their sorrow on the SFPANet mailing list and in other venues, many remembering Fox as having given them their start in publishing speculative poetry.

The following is the text of the Locus Online obituary:

Writer and editor Janet Fox, 68, died October 21, 2009, at home in Osage City, Kan., after a long struggle with cancer. Fox began publishing short fiction in the 1970s and published scores of stories and poems in magazines including Twilight Zone, Weird Tales, Cemetery Dance and others, as well as numerous anthologies. Under house name Alex McDonough she wrote five books in the Scorpio novel series for Ace, from 1990 to 1993. She edited monthly market 'zine Scavenger's Newsletter from 1984 to 2003 and was secretary/treasurer of the Small Press Writers and Artists Organization. A.R. Morlan has been named Fox's literary executor and can be contacted c/o Locus. See the January issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

November 2009

Karen Romanko Appointed Vice-President of SFPA
SFPA President Deborah P Kolodji recently announced that she has appointed Karen A. Romanko as Vice-President to help her organize volunteer duties, match them with willing volunteers, and increase the efficiency of the organization's day-to-day processes. "Karen will be a resource to help ... volunteer[s] get whatever help they might need to complete the task," Kolodji wrote in an announcement to the SFPANet group on Yahoo!.

Kolodji wrote, "The SFPA Constitution allows the President to appoint as many "assistants" as necessary to get the job done and I've decided to take advantage of this, to increase the overall efficiency of the organization." Karen A. Romanko served as SFPA Website Director from 2003 to 2007. Working with Erin Donahoe Kelley and Mike Allen, she helped to establish SFPA's official website at sfpoetry.com. She continued development of the website with Liz Bennefeld, instituting many of the features we have today, such as the annual Halloween Poetry Reading, the Speculative Poetry News page, and the Star*Line Editor's picks. Karen also served as Coordinator for the first online Poetry Contest.

In the writing realm, Karen has seen over 100 of her poems and short stories published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Aberrant Dreams, Ideomancer, and Lone Star Stories. When she switches literary hats, she edits and publishes speculative fiction and poetry anthologies under the Raven Electrick Ink imprint, such as the recently released Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy. She is a member of Broad Universe and The Horror Writers Association. "Please join me in thanking Karen for her willingness to take on this task," Kolodji wrote.

September 2009

Worra Joins Literary Center Board
Bryan Thao Worra photo

Minnesota-based speculative poetry writer and SFPA member Bryan Thao Worra has joined the Board of Directors of the Loft Literary Center, the nation's largest independent literary center, established to support the artistic development of writers and the writing community, and to build an audience for literature. The Loft Literary Center is located at 1011 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Born in Laos in 1973, Thao Worra holds an NEA Fellowship in Literature for poetry. He is the author of the books of speculative poetry On The Other Side Of The Eye and the forthcoming BARROW (October, 2009, Sam's Dot Publishing.) Thao Worra was recognized earlier this year with an Asian Pacific Leadership Award in the arts by the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.

August 2009

Poetry Programming Popular at Diversicon 17
by Ruth Berman Diversicon 17 was held in St Paul, Minn., over the weekend of July 31–August 2. This is a small, mostly local sf con. It usually has sf poetry programming, and more this year than usual because it had a Poet Guest of Honor, Sandra Lindow. (Novelist GoH was Kay Kenyon, and Sandra's husband Michael Levy was a Scholar GoH.)

Poetry events included a reading by Sandra, a reading by the Lady Poetesses from Hell (Terry A. Garey, me, Rebecca Marjesdatter, John Rezmerski, and KC O'Malley), and a midnight panel and reading on Poe's poetry by Bryan Thao Worra, Sandra, Rebecca Marjesdatter, John Rezmerski, and Cynthia Booth—this is Poe's bicentennial year.

Photos below were taken with permission from Diversicon's Facebook page, where you can see about 60 more. More about Diversicon.

Lady Poetesses from Hell reading at Diversicon 17
John Rezmerski, Cassandra O'Malley, Ruth Berman, Terry A. Garey, and Rebecca Marjesdatter during the LADY POETESSES FROM HELL reading.

Midnight Poe reading at Diversicon 17
John Rezmerski, Phyllis Ann Karr, Eric Heideman, Mike Levy, and Mark Rich: midnight POE reading.

June 2009

Boston wins Bram Stoker Award
Bruce Boston's The Nightmare Collection (Dark Regions Press, 2008) has received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Poetry from the Horror Writers Association. Details and a list of the winners in all categories: sfscope.com/2009/06/2009-bram-stoker-award-winners.html

May 2009

Florida-based SFPA Poets Represent at OASIS Con
SFPA member and Star*Line editor Marge Simon reports that SFPA was well represented at the OASIS SF con in Orlando on Memorial Day weekend, 2009.

"Our panel was 'Poetry Answers Art,'" Marge says. "We represent the SFPA poets of Florida."

Check out two photos below from the con and look for more information in the next issue of Star*Line.
Oasis SF Con Poetry Panel 2009
Chris Ambrose (M), Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, Elissa Malcohn, Mal Deeley. Photo by Arlene Ambrose.

Oasis SF Con Poetry Panel 2009
Chris Ambrose (M), Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, Elissa Malcohn, John Tumlin (standing), Mal Deeley. Photo by Arlene Ambrose.

SFPA Amazon Bookstore Established
Karen A. Romanko, SFPA member and former webmaster, has used Amazon.com tools to create an online SFPA Amazon.com Bookstore. This wonderful new resource provides another way for SFPA members to find and purchase science fiction and speculative poetry. It will also serve as a source of revenue for the association, as a small percentage of each book purchased will be rebated to SFPA. Karen has already identified and added a number of speculative poetry anthologies to the bookstore page. If you are a member and have a book available on Amazon.com that was published in the last two years, please e-mail the webmaster, and we will add your title as soon as possible! Many thanks to Karen for creating this new offering for SFPA.

Eaton Science Fiction Conference Features SFPA Reading
The second SFPA poetry reading at the Eaton Science Fiction Conference was held on Saturday, May 2, 2009. The reading was moderated by SFPA president Deborah P Kolodji. SFPA Treasurer Samantha Henderson was also on hand, and she gave a short overview of the SFPA and how to join. There were a dozen readers, which made for an hour and a half of amazing poetry readings—including a translation of a speculative poem by Frank L. Vigola from the Polish by the translation team of Gwido Zlatkes and Ann Frenkel. Another highlight was the reading by Ching-In Chen, who won the Eaton Conference Student Short Story Contest.
Eaton Science Fiction Conference Poetry Reading 2009
2009 Eaton Conference SFPA Poetry Reading Participants: (back) Kendall Evans, Samantha Henderson, W. Gregory Stewart, Deborah P Kolodji, Denise Dumars; (front) Karen A. Romanko, Sheila Finch, Gwido Zlatkes, Howard Hendrix; (not shown) Ann Frenkel, Sherri Benoun, Alyssa Tobar, Ching-In Chen.

March 2009

SFPA Members Boston and Crawford on Stoker Award Final Ballot
Bruce Boston's The Nightmare Collection (Dark Regions) and Gary William Crawford's The Phantom World (Sam's Dot Publishing) are finalists for the 2008 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection. The Bram Stoker Awards are presented yearly by the Horror Writers Association (HWA). You can find the complete final ballot at sfwa.org/news/2009/08stokerballot.htm.

January 2009

2008 Dwarf Stars Contest Winners Announced
The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced the recipient of the 2008 Dwarf Stars Award, which is given to the best short speculative poem of 10 lines or less published in the previous year, as voted upon by its membership. The 2008 Dwarf Stars winner is "Place Mat by Moebius" by Greg Beatty, originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction. Greg Beatty lives with his wife in Bellingham, Wash., where he tries unsuccessfully to stay dry. He writes everything from children's books to essays about his cooking debacles. Greg recently published his first poetry chapbook, Phrases of the Moon. It is available from Spec House of Poetry. Second place went to Sonya Taaffe for her poem "Muse," originally published in Strange Horizons. Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore and dead languages. Her short fiction and poetry can be found collected in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale. Her livejournal is Myth Happens. Westminister, Colorado-based poet Ann K. Schwader won third prize for her haibun, "Dancing to Van Gogh," which first appeared in Mythic Delirium. A haibun is a poetry form that combines short prose with haiku. Schwader's poetry has received several honorable mentions in Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, and she is an active member of SFWA, HWA and SFPA. Her blog is Yaddith Times.

Copies of the 2008 Dwarf Stars Anthology are still available from the SFPA for $5.00 plus shipping. Please visit our Dwarf Stars page for more information. Check out the anthology table of contents.

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