LOS ANGELES (Sept. 15, 2014) — The Science Fiction Poetry Association announced Monday that Lao American writer Bryan Thao Worra’s book, “DEMONSTRA” received the 2014 Elgin Award. Additionally, Helen Marshall’s collection, The Sex Lives of Monsters won first place in the Chapbook category.
This award is given by the Science Fiction Poetry Association to recognize the best full-length book and chapbook of speculative poetry published in the previous year. The Elgin Award is named after the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Suzette Haden Elgin.
The SFPA was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. The association has nearly 300 members internationally.
Only members could nominate books, and could not nominate their own books. The books did not need to be by members in order to be nominated or to win.
DEMONSTRA was published by Innsmouth Free Press in 2013. The Sex Lives of Monsters was published by Kelp Queen Press.
Additionally, the second place award for full-length book went to Unexplained Fevers by Jeanine Hall Gailey from New Binary Press. Third place went to Dark Roads by Bruce Boston, published by Dark Renaissance Books.
In the Chapbook category, second place went to The Edible Zoo by David C. Kopaska-Merkel, and third place went to Joshua Gage’s Inhuman: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, published by The Poet’s Haven.
Bryan Thao Worra was the first Lao American writer to receive an NEA Fellowship in literature. His work has also been recognized by the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
His work appears internationally in over 100 publications in England, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, France, Korea, Canada, and others. His poetry has been exhibited at the National Museum of American History, and the Poetry Foundation. He is an active professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
During the 2012 London Summer Games, he represented Laos as a Cultural Olympian during the Poetry Parnassus of the Southbank Centre.
DEMONSTRA also features the art of Vongduane Manivong, who was born in Vientiane Laos, and came in the 1980s to America with her parents, eventually settling in Texas. Vongduane’s art has been exhibited in galleries across country and national events, including the Symposium of Lao History at the University of California-Berkeley, the National Youth Leadership Council’s first Urban Institute, and the Cultural Heritage Exhibition at the Laotian Community Center of Rhode Island.
Helen Marshall is an award-winning Canadian author, editor, and doctor of medieval studies. Her debut collection of short stories, Hair Side, Flesh Side(ChiZine Publications, 2012), was named one of the top ten books of 2012 by January Magazine.
It won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was shortlisted for a 2013 Aurora Award by the Canadian Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her second collection, Gifts for the One Who Comes After,was released in September 2014. She lives in Oxford, England.
This year 22 publishers had books nominated, including 21 full-length collections and 9 chapbooks. Dark Regions Press, Elektrik Milk Bath Press, and Raw Dog Screaming Press were tied for the most nominations this year with three titles each.
Based in Canada, Kelp Queen Press is a member of the Small Press Co-Op and publishes poets such as Sandra Katsuri, David Niall Wilson, Jason Taniguchi, Colleen Anderson and Mark McLaughlin. They also published Helen Marshall’s collection, “Skeleton Leaves.”
Innsmouth Free Press is a Canadian micro-publisher of Weird books based out of Vancouver, BC. In existence since 2009, it is responsible for the anthologies Historical Lovecraft, Future Lovecraft and Fungi.
DEMONSTRA was the first full-length poetry collection they ever published.