SFPA Rhysling Award Archive


Since 1978, the members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association have recognized achievement in the field of speculative poetry by presenting the Rhysling Awards, named after the blind bard protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth."

Each SFPA member may nominate two poems from the previous year for the Awards: one in the "long" category and one in the "short" category. Because it's practically unfeasible to read every nominated poem in the various publications where they originally appeared, the nominees are collected into one volume, the Rhysling Anthology. It is mailed to all the members, who read it and vote for their favorites. The top vote-getters in each of the two categories become the Rhysling winners, listed below by award year.

This archive comprises a complete bibliography of all Rhysling Anthologies since 1978, and lists as completely as possible every nominated poem. (In addition to the winners, poems by authors as diverse as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Fred Chappell, Thomas Ligotti, Frank Belknap Long, Nancy Springer and Roger Zelazny can be found in the anthologies.) Click on any year below to access cover images and other information for every anthology.

The Rhysling Anthologies have gone through several stages of evolution. In the earliest years, when SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin ran the show, the anthologies were simply special issues of Star*Line, the association's newsletter. Under president and Star*Line editor Robert Frazier, the anthologies became stand-alone chapbooks; Frazier himself sometimes provided cover art and illustrations. In the early 1990s, now-defunct Figment Press gave the anthologies a sleek, professional look; David Kopaska-Merkel, editor of Dreams and Nightmares (and for a time editor and publisher of Star*Line) brought the minimalist sensibilities of his zine to later volumes. Later anthologies were team efforts helmed by layout maestro Mike Williams.

The Rhysling Awards, too, have evolved. In recent years it's become customary for SFPA to give awards for poems that came in second and third in their category. This archive will be updated as more information becomes available. (Archive originated by Mike Allen.) Rhysling nominee bios.

Rhysling Award Winners

2022 Long Beth Cato “The Bookstore”
  Short Mary Soon Lee Confessions of a Spaceport AI
2021 Long Jenny Blackford “Eleven Exhibits in a Better Natural History Museum, London”
  Short Linda D. Addison “Summer Timelessness”
2020 Long Rebecca Buchanan Heliobacterium daphnephilum
  Short Jessica J. Horowitz “Taking, Keeping”
2019 Long Sarah Tolmie “Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld”
  Short Beth Cato “After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls”
2018 Long Neil Gaiman “The Mushroom Hiunters”
  Short Mary Soon Lee “Advice to a Six-Year-Old”
2017 Long Theodora Goss “Rose Child”
  Short Marge Simon “George Tecumseh Sherman’s Ghosts”
2016 Long (tie) Krysada Panusith Phounsiri “It Begins With A Haunting”
    (tie) Ann K. Schwader “Keziah”
  Short Ruth Berman “Time Travel Vocabulary Problems”
2015 Long F.J. Bergmann “100 Reasons to Have Sex with an Alien”
  Short Marge Simon “Shutdown”
2014 Long Mary Soon Lee “Interregnum”
  Short Amal El-Mohtar “Turning the Leaves”
2013 Long Andrew Robert Sutton “Into Flight”
  Short Terry Garey "The Cat Star"
2012 Long Megan Arkenberg "The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages"
  Short Shira Lipkin "The Library, After"
2011 Long C. S. E. Cooney "The Sea King’s Second Bride"
  Short Amal El-Mohtar "Peach-Creamed Honey"
2010 Long Kendall Evans and Samantha Henderson "In the Astronaut Asylum"
  Short Ann K. Schwader "To Theia"
2009 Long Geoffrey A. Landis "Search"
  Short Amal El-Mohtar "Song for an Ancient City"
2008 Long Catherynne M. Valente "The Seven Devils of Central California"
  Short F.J. Bergmann "Eating Light"
2007 Long Mike Allen "The Journey to Kailash"
  Short Rich Ristow "The Graven Idol's Godheart"
2006 Long Kendall Evans & David C. Kopaska-Merkel "The Tin Men"
  Short Mike Allen "The Strip Search"
2005 Long Tim Pratt "Soul Searching"
  Short Greg Beatty "No Ruined Lunar City"
2004 Long Theodora Goss "Octavia Is Lost in the Hall of Masks"
  Short Roger Dutcher "Just Distance"
2003 Long (tie) Charles Saplak and Mike Allen "Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy"
    (tie) Sonya Taaffe "Matlacihuatl's Gift"
  Short Ruth Berman "Potherb Gardening"
2002 Long Lawrence Schimel "How to Make a Human"
  Short William John Watkins "We Die as Angels"
2001 Long Joe Haldeman "January Fires"
  Short Bruce Boston "My Wife Returns as She Would Have It"
2000 Long Geoffrey A. Landis "Christmas (after we all get time machines)"
  Short Rebecca Marjesdatter "Grimoire"
1999 Long Bruce Boston "Confessions of a Body Thief"
  Short Laurel Winter "egg horror poem"
1998 Long Laurel Winter "why goldfish shouldn't use power tools"
  Short John Grey "Explaining Frankenstein to His Mother"
1997 Long Terry A. Garey "Spotting UFOs While Canning Tomatoes"
  Short W. Gregory Stewart "Day Omega"
1996 Long Margaret B. Simon "Variants of the Obsolete"
  Short Bruce Boston "Future Present: A Lesson in Expectation"
1995 Long David Lunde "Pilot, Pilot"
  Short Dan Raphael "Skin of Glass"
1994 Long W. Gregory Stewart
and Robert Frazier
"Basement Flats: Redefining the Burgess Shale"
  Short (tie) Bruce Boston "Spacer's Compass"
    (tie) Jeff VanderMeer "Flight Is for Those Who Have Not Yet Crossed Over"
1993 Long William J. Daciuk "To Be from Earth"
  Short Jane Yolen "Will"
1992 Long W. Gregory Stewart "the button and what you know"
  Short David Lunde "Song of the Martian Cricket"
1991 Long David Memmott "The Aging Cryonicist in the Arms of His
Mistress Contemplates the Survival of the
Species While the Phoenix Is Consumed by Fire"
  Short Joe Haldeman "Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh"
1990 Long Patrick McKinnon "dear spacemen"
  Short G. Sutton Breiding "Epitaph for Dreams"
1989 Long (tie) Bruce Boston "In the Darkened Hours"
    (tie) John M. Ford "Winter Solstice, Camelot Station"
  Short Robert Frazier "Salinity"
1988 Long Lucius Shepard "White Trains"
  Short (tie) Bruce Boston "The Nightmare Collector"
    (tie) Suzette Haden Elgin "Rocky Road to Hoe"
1987 Long W. Gregory Stewart "Daedalus"
  Short (tie) Jonathan V. Post "Before the Big Bang: News from the Hubble Large Space Telescope"
    (tie) John Calvin Rezmerski "A Dream of Heredity"
1986 Long Andrew Joron "Shipwrecked on Destiny Five"
  Short Susan Palwick "The Neighbor's Wife"
1985 Long Siv Cedering "A Letter from Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)"
  Short Bruce Boston "For Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets"
1984 Long Joe Haldeman "Saul's Death: Two Sestinas"
  Short Helen Ehrlich "Two Sonnets"
1983 Long Adam Cornford "Your Time and You: A Neoprole's Dating Guide"
  Short Alan P. Lightman "In Computers"
1982 Long Ursula K. Le Guin "The Well of Baln"
  Short Raymond DiZazzo "On the Speed of Sight"
1981 Long Thomas M. Disch "On Science Fiction"
  Short Ken Duffin "Meeting Place"
1980 Long Andrew Joron "The Sonic Flowerfall of Primes"
  Short (tie) Robert Frazier "Encased in the Amber of Eternity"
    (tie) Peter Payack "The Migration of Darkness"
1979 Long Michael Bishop "For the Lady of a Physicist"
  Short (tie) Duane Ackerson "Fatalities"
    (tie) Steve Eng "Storybooks and Treasure Maps"
1978 Long Gene Wolfe "The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps"
  Short (tie) Duane Ackerson "The Starman"
    (tie) Andrew Joron "Asleep in the Arms of Mother Night"
    (tie) Sonya Dorman "Corruption of Metals"

To view the contents of any Rhysling Anthology since 1978, click on its year, above.

With grateful acknowledgements to Bruce Boston, Robert Frazier, Peter Roberts, Deborah Shepard, Mary Turzillo,
The Locus Index to Science Fiction and The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards

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