Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has created The President’s Lifetime Service Award to be presented to someone who embodies exemplary attitude and dedication to the SFPA and the speculative genre. The award is given for service throughout the years to an individual who has furthered the knowledge, appreciation and acceptance of the speculative poetry genre, and who has served the SFPA in a significant volunteer capacity.
Deborah P. Kolodji is the award’s inaugural winner, who SFPA President Colleen Anderson describes as a champion for short-form speculative poetry who has served the SFPA in many ways.
The award citation says:
Deborah P Kolodji is a former president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, and a member of the board of directors for Haiku North America. She has given hundreds of haiku workshops over the past 15 years and recorded two Poetry Pea videos, one on “Exaggerated Perspective” in haiku (which referenced scifaiku) and one on speculative haiku.
She has long been an advocate for speculative haiku and scifaiku, writing several articles for mainstream haiku journals, including one in Terry Ann Carter’s book, Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Haiku and Related Literary Forms. She presented a talk on scifaiku at the 2007 Haiku North America in Ottawa as well as being on a haiku panel at the 2007 WorldCon in Montreal. She has given several scifaiku workshops at ConDor as well as participating in a scifaiku slam in San Diego.
The Dwarf Stars Award came out of Kolodji’s advocacy for short form poetry, and she edited several volumes of the Dwarf Stars Anthology, including the first one. As SFPA president, she created Eye to the Telescope with Samantha Henderson, and co-edited the first issue. The Vice President position was added to the SFPA board under her administration, and the SFPA also held its first poetry contests.
A native Californian, she has a degree in mathematics from the University of Southern California. With over 1,000 published haiku to her name, her first full-length book of haiku and senryu, highway of sleeping towns, from Shabda Press, was awarded a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award from The Haiku Foundation. Her e-chapbook, tug of a black hole, won 2nd Place in the Elgin Awards from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Her new book, Distance, was co-authored with Mariko Kitakubo of Tokyo. This book was written in a collaborative form called, “Tan-ku,” a conversation in tanka and haiku, where the tanka were written by Mariko and the haiku by Deborah. She finds inspiration in the beaches, mountains, deserts, gardens, and urban life of Los Angeles County.