The 2015 Rhysling Winners

2015 Rhysling Award—Short Poem: Marge Simon
Winning poem: “Shutdown”

Appeared in Qualia Nous, ed. Michael Bailey (Written Backwards, 2014)

Marge Simon photoMarge Simon’s works appear in publications such as DailySF Magazine, Pedestal, Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter, “Blood & Spades: Poets of the Dark Side,” and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, 2010, and the SFPA’s Dwarf Stars Award, 2012. In addition to her poetry, she has published two prose collections: Christina's World (Sam’s Dot Publications, 2008) and Like Birds in the Rain (Sam’s Dot, 2007). She has won three Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Work in Poetry. Her poems appear in Qualia Nous (Written Backwards), The Dark Phantastique (Jasunni Productions) and more poems will appear in Chiral Mad (Written Backwards) anthology and the HWA/Simon & Schuster Y/A collection, 2015.


2015 Rhysling Award—Long Poem: F.J. Bergmann
Winning poem: “100 Reasons to Have Sex with an Alien”

Appeared in 2014 SFPA Poetry Contest

f j bergmann photoF.J. Bergmann won the Rhysling Award for the Short Poem in 2008 and is pleased to now have the complete set. She edits Star*Line and is the poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and poetry editor at Dark Renaissance Books.


Second Place—Short Poem: Ruth Berman
Poem: “Science Fiction (with apologies to Marianne Moore’s “Poetry”)”

Appeared in Dreams and Nightmares 98

Ruth Berman’s work has appeared in many sf/fantasy, general, and literary magazines and anthologies. Her novel, Bradamant’s Quest, was published by FTL Publications of Minnesota. She was one of the contributors to Lady Poetesses from Hell (Bag Person Press Collective, Minneapolis). Her translation of two fairy tales by 18th-century writer Louise Cavelier Levesque, “The Prince of the Aquamarines” & “The Invisible Prince,” was published by Aqueduct Press of Seattle. She is a former winner of the Rhysling and Dwarf Stars awards.

Second Place—Long Poem: Megan Arkenberg
Poem: “Six Things the Owl Said”

Appeared in Goblin Fruit Spring 2014

megan arkenberg photoMegan Arkenberg lives and writes in California. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Aghast, Lightspeed, Nightmare Magazine, Daughters of Frankenstein and Start a Revolution. She is the editor of the fantasy e-zine Mirror Dance and nonfiction editor for Queers Destroy Horror!, a special issue of Nightmare coming out this November. Her poem "The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages" won the Rhysling Award in 2012, and "Sister Philomela Heard the Voices of Angels" placed third in 2013.


Third Place—Short Poem: 4-way tie
Bryan D. Dietrich

Poem: “I Imagine My Mother’s Death”

Appeared in The Pedestal Magazine 74

Bryan D. Dietrich photoBryan D. Dietrich is the author of seven books of poems. He is also co-editor of an anthology of superhero poetry and editor of the journal Archaeopteryx. Bryan has published poems in Asimov's, Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, The New Yorker, Poetry, Harvard Review, Yale Review, and many other journals. He has won an Asimov's Readers Choice Award, The Paris Review Prize, a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Writers at Work Fellowship, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer. Professor of English at Newman University, Bryan lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife, Gina, and their son, Nick.

Francesca Forrest
Poem: “The Peal Divers”

Appeared in Strange Horizons, 3/17/14

Francesca Forrest photoFrancesca Forrest has lived in the United States, England, and Japan and used to boast about having given birth to children on three continents. If she’d started earlier, she might have tried for births on the rest. Currently she works as a copy editor, spending as much of her free time writing as possible. She’s had short stories and poems published both online and in print, along with one novel, Pen Pal. She also volunteers as a tutor in a medium-security jail and has helped with a program to make children’s books available in the various mother tongues spoken in Timor-Leste. She loves knowing which plants in a landscape are edible and the folk names of wildflowers.

Joshua Gage
Poem: “Extinction”

Appeared in Star*Line 37.3

Joshua Gage photoJoshua Gage is an ornery curmudgeon from Cleveland, His first full-length collection, breaths, is available from VanZeno Press. Intrinsic Night, a collaborative project he wrote with J. E. Stanley, was published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. His most recent collection, Inhuman: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, is available on Poet’s Haven Press. He is a graduate of the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Naropa University. He has a penchant for Pendleton shirts, rye whiskey and any poem strong enough to yank the breath out of his lungs. He stomps around Cleveland in a purple bathrobe where he hosts the monthly Deep Cleveland Poetry hour and enjoys the beer at Fat Heads.

John Philip Johnson
Poem: “After the Changeling Incantation”

Appeared in Strange Horizons, 2/3/14

John Philip Johnson photoJohn Philip Johnson would be an astronaut if he could. He has had poems or stories published in such places as Rattle, Mythic Delirium, Apex, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Ted Kooser's newspaper column, and also at the Poetry Foundation. He has an Elgin-nominated comic book of graphic poetry, Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town, available at He would go to Mars if he could. His website:


Third Place—Long Poem: David Clink

Poem: “The Perfect Library”

Appeared in If the World Were to Stop Spinning (Piquant Press, 2014)

David Clink photoDavid Clink is a poet, poker player, and punster. His poem, “A sea monster tells his story” won the 2013 Aurora Award for Best Poem/Song. David finished second in the Asimov’s Readers’ Awards—Poetry Category, 2007, for his poem, “Copyright Notice 2525.” He placed third in the 2014 Dwarf Stars competition. His poetry has appeared in Analog five times, and Asimov’s three times. He has two collections published by Tightrope Books: Eating Fruit Out of Season (2008) and Monster (2010). His third collection, Crouching Yak, Hidden Emu, was published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box in 2012. In 2014 Piquant Press launched David’s speculative poetry chapbook If the World were to Stop Spinning.

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