The Science Fiction Poetry Association has selected its first Grand Masters in five years – Marge Simon and Steve Sneyd.
A SFPA Grand Master must be a living person “whose body of work reflects the highest artistic goals of the SFPA, who shall have been actively publishing within the target genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy for a period of no fewer than 20 years, and whose poetry has been noted to be exceptional in merit, scope, vision and innovation.”
SFPA’s first four Grand Masters were Jane Yolen (2010), Ray Bradbury (2008), Robert Frazier (2005) and Bruce Boston (1999).
The citation for the two new Grand Masters reads as follows —
Marge Ballif Simon freelances as a writer-poet-illustrator for genre and mainstream publications such as Nebula Awards 32, Strange Horizons, Flashquake, Flash Me Magazine, Dreams & Nightmares, The Pedestal Magazine, and Vestal Review. Marge is a former president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She edits the column “Blood and Spades: Poets of the Dark Side” for the monthly newsletter of the Horror Writers Association Marge has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Rhysling Award, the Dwarf Stars Award, and the Strange Horizons Readers Award for her poetry. She has also illustrated five Bram Stoker Award collections. In addition to her solo work, Marge has published collaboratively with many other authors. margesimon.com
Steve Sneyd may be unfamiliar to many; he lives completely off the grid in Yorkshire, England, with no internet presence. His output of poetry has slowed in recent years. Notwithstanding, he should be better known as an important speculative poet and stalwart proponent, chronicler and historian of SF poetry. Steve has been publishing SF poetry since the late 1970s (at least). His poetry has been nominated multiple times for Rhysling Awards, beginning in 1992. His poetry has appeared in Star*Line and Dreams & Nightmares as recently as 2011), The Magazine of Speculative Poetry and Hadrosaur Tales, as well as many SF and poetry journals, fanzines, and small-press anthologies. His collections include Gestaltmacher, Gestaltmacher, Make Me a Gestalt: Ninety-Nine Poems from the Nineties (The Four Quarters, 2000) and Mistaking the Nature of the Posthuman (Hilltop Press, 2008). His handwritten (!) SF poetry newsletter, DataDump, in print since 1992, recently celebrated its 200th issue. In it are reviews, news and historical studies of SF poetry. He gives the annual DataDump Award for best SF poem in a British publication. Sneyd has published SF poetry from U.S. and British fanzines and small press, grouped by era (starting with the 1750s!), as well as themed anthologies. He has written countless essays and forewords, most recently an overview of SF poetry, “Wormholeing into Elsewhere,” in Where Rockets Burn Through, ed. Russell Jones (See the review on Amazing Stories for a brief example of his poetry). The ISFDB site and the SF Encyclopedia have (albeit incomplete) lists of his published poetry as well as more biographical information. An interview with Steve Sneyd on AmazingStoriesMag.com includes links to his poetry online.