Science Fiction Poetry Association

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) is an American society that brings together poets and readers interested in this specialist poetic genre. SFPA administers the annual Rhysling Awards for the best science fiction, fantasy, or horror poem of the year, and the Elgin Awards for the best full-length speculative poetry collection and best speculative chapbook.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association
PurposeBring together poets and readers interested in speculative poetry..
Region served
Bryan Thao Worra


SFPA was established as the Science Fiction Poetry Association in 1978 by Suzette Haden Elgin[1] to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. In 2015 the president of the SFPA was Bryan D. Dietrich, with Bryan Thao Worra starting as president in September 2016, with Vice-President Sandra J. Lindow and Secretary Shannon Connor Winward.[2] In 2017, members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association voted to change the name of the organization to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, while keeping the acronym "SFPA",[3] similar to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


Since its inception in 1978,[4][5] the organization has administered the Rhysling Award for best science fiction poetry of the year.[6][7] The award is given in two categories: "Best Long Poem", for works of 50 or more lines, and "Best Short Poem", for works of 49 or fewer lines.[8] It also bestows the Dwarf Stars Award for short poem (up to ten lines).[9] Since the 1980s[4] the Rhysling-winning poems are included in the Nebula Awards anthology published by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,[10] along with (since 2008) the Dwarf Stars winning poems.[11] The two awards involve the publication of annual anthologies of nominated works.

In 2013, SFPA inaugurated the Elgin Awards for poetry collections, named after SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin.[12] Two awards are given annually, for best speculative chapbook and best full-length speculative poetry collection.[13]

The SFPA awards Grand Master status to poets who have been actively publishing genre poetry of high caliber, given “to an individual living at the time of selection whose body of work shall reflect 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.”[14]



The organization has published the journal Star*Line[15] since 1978. Star*Line publishes poetry as well as providing market listings and industry news to members. The current editor of Star*Line is Vince Gotera.

It has published the online magazine Eye to the Telescope[16] since 2011. Eye to the Telescope has a rotating editorship, in order to broaden the scope of the organization's literary footprint.[17]



  • Elgin, Suzette Haden (2005). Mike Allen; Bud Webster (eds.). The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Sam's Dot Publishing. p. 125 pp. ISBN 1-930847-81-5. Anyone who aspires to writing fantastic poetry should read this handbook carefully." – Joe Haldeman
  • Roger Dutcher; Mike Allen, eds. (2005). The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase. Science Fiction Poetry Association in cooperation with Prime Books. p. 170 pp. ISBN 0-8095-1162-2. This collection presents more than twenty-five years of the best poetry in the field of speculative literature. Reviews:
    • "An essential purchase for anyone’s library of SF", Analog[5]
    • "The Alchemy of Stars gathers the best of science fiction and the best of poetry, melding them into a unique conglomerate", Strange Horizons[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Suzette Haden Elgin Obituary, SFSite, Jan. 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Bryan Thao Worra Named president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Asian American Press, Sept 12, 2016 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  3. ^ SPFA Gets a New Name, Specpo, March 21, 2017 (accessed 11 April 2017)
  4. ^ a b Kress, Nancy, "Rhysling Winners," Nebula Awards Showcase 2003, Penguin, 2003 (ISBN 1101191074, 9781101191071)
  5. ^ a b Tom Easton, "The Reference Library" Archived 2016-09-17 at the Wayback Machine, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 2006 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  6. ^ 2016 Rhysling Award Winners, Locus, 21 June 2016 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  7. ^ Science Fiction Awards Database, Rhysling Awards (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  8. ^ David Langford, "Rhysling Award." The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 3rd edition (online), ed. John Clute, David Langford, and Peter Nicholls, 2013. Accessed 19 February 2013
  9. ^ Science Fiction Awards Database, Dwarf Stars Award (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  10. ^ Nebula Anthologies, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. John Clute, David Langford, and Peter Nicholls (2016) (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  11. ^ Bova, Ben, "Poetry: the Rhysling Award Winners," Nebula Awards Showcase 2008, Penguin, 2008.
  12. ^ Mike Glyer, "2016 Elgin Award Candidates", File 770, June 20, 2016 (accessed 30 Sept. 2016)
  13. ^ Diane Severson, "Poetry- Elgin Award Nominee Showcase", Amazing Stories, August 14, 2014 (accessed 30 Sept. 2016)
  14. ^ 2015 SFPA Grand Masters Announced, Locus Magazine, 3 Aug. 2015 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  15. ^ Star*Line web page
  16. ^ Eye To The Telescope
  17. ^ Romie Stott, "Looking Forward, Looking Back: An Interview with David Kopaska-Merkel", Strange Horizons, 28 July 2014 (accessed 25 Sept. 2016)
  18. ^ Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB): Rhysling Anthology (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  19. ^ Prior to 1981, the nominees were published in a special issue of Star*Line. Science Fiction Poetry Association, Rhysling Archive (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  20. ^ Science Fiction Poetry Association, The Dwarf Stars Award (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)
  21. ^ Elizabeth Barrette, Review: The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, edited by Roger Dutcher and Mike Allen[permanent dead link], Strange Horizons, 8 February 2006 (accessed 16 Sept. 2016)

External linksEdit