The Elgin Award, hosted by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA), is for chapbooks & books of speculative poetry. This year, the following Porkbelly Press chapbooks received nomination:
by M. Brett Gaffney
These poems are the knife edge, the hot blood, the wolf’s howl, and the fang of the girl who hunts him down. This book holds the haunted-house-horror and everything real underneath, the costume, the bruise after, the smoke curling in the heart of a hellhound. “After supper she pulls on boots, prepares her heart” and goes out to collect his “sharpest fang.” These poems are demons and strawberries and bones, and teeth, and agency, self, girl-power, woman-power—assertive figures preoccupied with agency, not beauty—not prettiness for the observer. This chapbook of poems is the bone-yard, the skeleton, the strength. “I am here to stay / … / I am just as real as anything else.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Sarah Ann Winn
This is a dream landscape and it is underwater, all the house-things, human-things curled in between blades of red seaweed and pearl-filled oyster. It is a shimmer of sunlight filtering through from the surface, the glimmer of something faceted buried in silt. This micro chapbook is exploration and memory, the way we risk ourselves to look deep in search of some half-forgotten treasure, something we’ll always go back for, no matter how far down. (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Kristi Carter
Carter’s work investigates the intersection of intergenerational trauma, survival, feminism, and power. Body-heavy and image-rich, these poems evoke a landscape of the scars and blood we carry with us, all the things that make up our lineage of memory and modes of recovery/survival/learning. It’s an intensely intimate series of poems about the claiming and finding of voice, body, and agency. “And ever since I anchored myself to the ground / and split off from myself, from the cracked husk / of girlhood finished, I return replenished. / I return, to burn. / I return, with the wound / like a medal—in its gleam, how it sings.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
numbered editions of 50
by James A. H. White
James A. H. White’s work feels at once breathless and intense, reaching to capture vivid blooms of a life-history in poems grown so intricately together that they’re tangled, almost inseparable. It is the story of mother and father, of identity and travel and seeking and ghosts both behind and before. This is a tessellation of light, color, memory and story, a gay son fitting the pieces of self together and offering it up in poems. Each poem feels like a secret, each leaves you wanting more. (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
Congratulations to the nominees & good luck!
Nominations are made by members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy poetry association. If you're passionate about speculative poetry and have read something fantastic that you'd like to nominate in future (or vote in SFPA awards for nominated works), you can join at sfpoetry.com. Perks of membership include copies of Star*Line, the Rhysling anthology, & Dwarf Stars.