1999 SFPA Grand master: Bruce Boston

Bruce Boston photoBruce Boston began publishing speculative poetry as early as 1970, yet his work did not begin appearing in genre publications until the late seventies. Since that time he has received more major awards for speculative poetry than any other author: a record seven Rhysling Awards, a record six Asimov's Readers' Awards, and two Bram Stoker Awards for his collections Pitchblende (2003) and Shades Fantastic (2006).

In reviewing The Complete Accursed Wives (2000) for Scifi.com, Mary Turzillo wrote: “Boston has the gift of making his poetry appealing to people who generally aren't fond of poetry. He creates cadences more subtle than Poe's by using syllabic and blank verse with startlingly varied iambic pentameter. He creates his own stanza forms. He also manipulates rhyme in sly and original ways. Instead of creating predictable, boring end-rhyme patterns, he uses advanced techniques: slant, internal, and vowel rhyme. The poems read like colloquial speech, but are nimbly crafted to croon subliminal music.”

In his introduction to Quanta (2001), Andrew Joron stated: "The poetry of Bruce Boston comes of a clangorous forging of language, a making of clear-edged images that ring with the solidity of a blade or bell. By the hard hammering of genre material—science fiction, fantasy, and horror—Boston refashions the familiar shapes of popular imagination into expressionistic pulses of rhythm and color. Here, the poet's art resides not simply in the representation of genre content (in recounting, for example, the doings of robots and monsters), but in the creation of new and startling relations between words.”

Boston has published twenty-six books of poetry. Other significant titles, beside those mentioned above, include All the Clocks Are Melting (1984), Alchemical Texts (1985), The Nightmare Collector (1989), Chronicles of the Mutant Rain Forest (with Robert Frazier, himself a Grandmaster, 2005), Sensuous Debris (1995), and White Space (2001).

In addition to his poetry, Boston has published two novels and eleven story collections. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications in print and online, most visibly in Amazing Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction, Chiaroscuro, Nebula Awards Showcase, Pedestal Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Science Fiction Age, Twilight Zone Magazine, Weird Tales, and Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.

Bruce Boston is a worthy recipient of the SFPA Grandmaster Award.

background image sfpa logo