Happy the Dwarf

By John Hertz:  Results of the 2020 SF Poetry Ass’n Contest were posted here on September 25th.

I won 3rd Place in the Dwarf category (1-10 lines).

Two Filers’ comments congratulated me by name.  Thanks.

Perhaps you’d like to see my entry.  It’s an unrhymed stanza in 5-7-5-word lines.

That hill – a giant
Green elephant asleep, lost
On his way to Mars.

File 770 reported the Contest’s biographical notes about the winners.  Mine was simply “John Hertz is”.  This was due to no request, coyness, or like that, from me.  No one asked.  If the Contest called for any biography from entrants, I missed it.  However, I’m content.


Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was the first full-length cel-animated feature film.  In Disney’s telling, Snow White meets dwarfs called Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

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…]

2019 SFPA Poetry Contest Winners

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association announced the winners of its 2019 Poetry Contest on October 15.

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])

Speculative poets from around the world sent contest chair Do Nguyên Mai received 560 entries (99 dwarf-length, 248 short, and 113 long poems) from around the world.

The winners were chosen by Judge Nicole Oquendo.

Dwarf Form winning poem

Dark Matters by Angela Yuriko Smith

  • Second Place: Poet in my basement by Frances Kai-Hwa
  • Third Place:  Seeds by Alan Michaels

Short Form winning poem

The Fox and the Forest by Holly Lyn Walrath

  • Second Place: An Elephant in Ophir, Colorado. Pop. 114, 9695′ above sea level, c. 1930. by M. C. Childs
  • Third Place: The Night Witch Dreams of Flight by Jeff Crandall
  • Honorable Mention: Man and Mecha by Kimberly Wade

Long Form winning poem

The Mining Town by Holly Lyn Walrath

  • Second Place: Your Brain Awakens in a Jar by Kate Felix
  • Third Place: The 100-Meter Dash of Florence Vanderschmidt by Christine Tyler

[Note: I apologize,but WordPress will not reproduce the characters in the contest chair’s first name, so the Latin letters that appear most similar have been substituted.]

2019 SFPA Speculative Poetry Contest

On June 1, the 2019 Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) Poetry Contest opens and will be accepting entries from all poets, including non-members of the SFPA. Poets may enter in three categories:

  • 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)

All sub-genres of speculative poetry are welcome in any form. Entries will be read blind. Winners will receive a $100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize, and $25 Third Prize in each category, as well as publication on sfpoetry.com. The contest fee is $2 to enter.

Entries must be submitted by August 31.Winners will be announced by October 1. To enter or learn more, see the submission guidelines on the official SFPA contest website at sfpoetry.com/contests.html.

This year’s contest judge is Nicole Oquendo, a writer and visual artist who combines these two elements to craft multimodal nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Their work can be found in literary journals like BOAAT, CutBank, DIAGRAM, and Gulf Stream, among others. They are the author of the hybrid memoir Telomeres, as well as five chapbooks. Their most recent book of illustrated speculative poetry is Space Baby: Episodes I-III. They are currently an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications who are publishing their curated anthology, Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, in 2019.

[Based on a press release.]