2020 SFPA Poetry Contest Winners

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association has announced the winners of its 2020 Poetry Contest.

This year’s contest offered prizes in three divisions:

  • Dwarf (poems 1-10 lines [prose poems 0-100 words])
  • Short (11-49 lines [prose poems 101-499 words])
  • Long (50 lines and more [prose poems 500+ words])

Contest chair John Reinhart received 391 entries (133 dwarf-length, 197 short, and 61 long poems) from around the world.

The winners, selected by judge Neil Aitken, will receive a $150 First Prize, $75 Second Prize, and $25 Third Prize in each category, as well as publication on sfpoetry.com

DWARF FORM WINNING POEM:

  • “Where Do We Go From Here?” by Ojo Taiye

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian poet who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. He also makes uses of collage & sampling techniques.

DWARF FORM SECOND PLACE:

  • “the last whisper” by Deborah P Kolodji

Deborah P Kolodji is a former president of the SFPA and the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America. She has published over 1000 haiku and her first book of haiku and senryu won a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award from the Haiku Foundation.

DWARF FORM THIRD PLACE:

  • “That hill – a giant” by John Hertz

John Hertz is.

DWARF FORM HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • “artificial singularity” by Meg Freer
  • “The Hypothesis” by Sheryl Hamilton

SHORT FORM WINNER:

  • “Skylarking” by F. J. Bergmann

F. J. Bergmann edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and (temporarily [again]) Star*Line, and imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. She has competed at National Poetry Slam as a member of the Madison, WI, Urban Spoken Word team. Her mostly speculative work appears irregularly in Abyss & Apex, Analog, Asimov’s SF, and elsewhere in the alphabet. A dystopian collection of first-contact expedition reports, A Catalogue of the Further Suns, won the 2017 Gold Line Press poetry chapbook contest and the 2018 SFPA Elgin Chapbook Award.

SHORT FORM SECOND PLACE:

  • “The Indestructible Observer Admits” by Amie Whittemore

Amie Whittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press), the 2020 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Her poems have won multiple awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and her poems and prose have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Nashville Review, Smartish Pace, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She is the Reviews Editor for Southern Indiana Review and teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University.

SHORT FORM THIRD PLACE:

“The Archaeoastronomer Questions the Purposes of the Destroyed Neolithic Menhir” by T. D. Walker

T. D. Walker is the author of the poetry collections Small Waiting Objects (CW Books 2019) and Maps of a Hollowed World (Another New Calligraphy 2020). Her science fiction poems and stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Apricity, The Future Fire, Web Conjunctions,The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and elsewhere. She curates and hosts Short Waves / Short Poems. After completing graduate work in English Literature, Walker began her career as a software developer. She draws on both her grounding in literary studies and her experience as a computer programmer in writing poetry and fiction. Find out more at tdwalker.net.

SHORT FORM HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Collection of Mouths by Ann DeVilbiss
  • My Life in the Bomb by Phil Tabakow
  • Aswang Mango: Santiago’s Fantasia by Vince Gotera

LONG FORM WINNER:

  • “Which is Which” by F. J. Bergmann

F. J. Bergmann lives in Wisconsin and likes to ride horses. She is pretty sure she’d like to ride unicorns, if only they’d cooperate.

LONG FORM SECOND PLACE:

  • “After the Decipherment” by FJ Doucet

Fatimah Jessica (FJ) Doucet’s poetry most recently appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, Beliveau Review, Yolk, Martin Lake Journal, and Literary Mama, while her work in Prometheus Dreaming magazine was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her speculative prose appears in the Retellings of the Inland Seas anthology from Candlemark and Gleam press, with more fiction forthcoming through Endless Ink Publishing House. She is a member of the SFPA, and is the newest president of the Brooklin Poetry Society, just outside of Toronto, Canada.

LONG FORM THIRD PLACE:

  • “Cityscape” by F. J. Bergmann

F. J. Bergmann is presently holed up in a 700-square-foot apartment with a husband and 7,000 books, most of which are science fiction.

LONG FORM HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • “Stellar Scrap Sweep” by Richaundra Thursday
  • “The Archaeoastronomer Explains to the American’s Daughter Why a Compass Will Not Work on the Moon” by T. D. Walker

Contest judge Neil Aitken is the author of two books of poetry, Babbage’s Dream (Sundress 2017) and The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga 2008), which won the Philip Levine Prize. His poetry chapbook Leviathan (Hyacinth Girl Press 2016) won the Elgin Award. Individual poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, American Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Ninth Letter, Radar Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and many other literary journals. He is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review, curator of Have Book Will Travel, podcast host of The Lit Fantastic, and co-director of De-Canon: A Visibility Project.

[This story will be scraped by Locus Online in 5…4…3…]

6 thoughts on “2020 SFPA Poetry Contest Winners

  1. @Fred B

    Seems to be a free stock image. You can find it on self-pubbed book covers, outlet plates, and mouse pads! I’d guess it’s a collage pieced together from a few images…statue, dragon, and ground look like they might be from different sources.

  2. Thank You! I appreciate the link. Looking at the image on a screenbigger than my phone and without the overlay of text, I can see what you mean. I agree with you that it appears to be an amalgam. Thanks again!

  3. Pingback: Happy the Dwarf | File 770

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