AAP staff report
MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 18, 2014) — The Science Fiction Poetry Association recently announced the 2014 winners of the Rhysling Awards for the speculative poems of the year. The ceremony was convened at Goddess and the Moon in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, December 12th.
In the long poem category, Mary Soon Lee’s “Interregnum” took first place. It had first appeared in Star*Line’s fourth quarter issue in 2013. Mike Allen’s “Hungry Constellations” received second place, while third place went to Rose Lemberg for “I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz.”
Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2003. She has had over a hundred poems published, in places ranging from the Atlanta Review to Star*Line to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She has also written short stories, including appearances in The Year’s Best SF #5 and The Year’s Best Fantasy #4. She is currently working on The Sign of the Dragon, an extended poetry sequence. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, two children, and two cats.
In the short poem category, first place was awarded to “Turning the Leaves” by Amal El-Mohtar, which first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Apex Magazine. Geoffray A. Landis’ poem “Rivers” was awarded second place, while third place went to Bruce Boston for his poem “Music of the Stars.”
Amal El-Mohtar is a self-described “Canadian-born child of the Mediterranean.” She is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the Cornwall Campus of the University of Exeter. She previously received the 2009 Rhysling award for her poem “Song for an Ancient City,” and has received a Nebula nomination for “The Green Book,” a short story originally published in the Arab/Muslim issue of APEX magazine. Her work has appeared in many online and print publications, including STRANGE HORIZONS, WEIRD TALES, and IDEOMANCER.
The Rhysling winners are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and are considered in the SF/F/H/Spec. field to be the equivalent in poetry of the awards given for “prose” work— achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.
Poems were nominated from over 49 publications this year. The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science-fiction poetry. It has over 300 members internationally. The active membership in good standing nominates and votes on the Rhysling winners each year. This year’s chair was Elizabeth R. McClellan.