Line of Advance Announces Winners of 2020 Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Awards

Some great news today: Line of Advance, a nonprofit literary journal founded by three veterans of the war in Afghanistan, wrote me this morning to say I poem I wrote inspired by stories of my Lolo during World War II is a winner in the 2020 Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Awards. The poem will be published online in September and in print in October in an anthology called Our Best War Stories.

I have always been proud of my family members’ military service, my uncle Raymond, killed in action in World War II, and my Lolo, father, and Uncle Tony — all three of them West Point grads. You can read a little bit more about my Lolo in a previous post.

Now I am also proud to be among the first group of civilians to be honored with this award, for both poetry and prose. This year was the first year military family members were invited to submit to the annual contest. I’m glad they expanded who is eligible. When you are part of a military family, a lot of your daily life is defined by the military experience—everyday things like where you live, where you shop, changes in schools and places of worship.

Thank you to Line of Advance, editor Christopher Lyke, and guest judge Katey Schultz, and congratulations to all the winners!

Among the winners, here are all the prize-winners in my category: poetry by a military family member:

  • First-prize: “Pursuit” by Lisa Stice
  • Second-prize: “Dancing with my Father” by Ellyana Gomez
  • Third-prize: “An Offering” by Michael Janairo

You can read the award announcement here.


2020 Rhysling Award Winners

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, of which I am a member, has just announced the winners of the 42nd annual Rhysling Awards for best speculative poems of the year.

The winners were selected in two categories, Long Form and Short
Form Poems, which were nominated by the members of the organization. From 67 publications. 77 poems in the Short Form category and 49 poems in the Long Form category were reviewed for almost 16 weeks by the membership, which includes award-winning educators, scholars, and poets from a diverse range of literary traditions and specializations. This year, the membership selected the following winners (links to the poems included where possible):


First Place
“Taking, Keeping” • Jessica J. Horowitz • Apparition Lit 5

Second Place
“when my father reprograms my mother {” • Caroline Mao • Strange Horizons, Fund Drive

Third Place (tie)
“Creation: Dark Matter Dating App” • , Sandra J. Lindow • Asimov’s SF, July/August, and 
“The Day the Animals Turned to Sand” • Tyler Hagemann • Amazing Stories, Spring 2019


First Place
Heliobacterium daphnephilum • Rebecca Buchanan • Star*Line 42.3

Second Place
“The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly” • Theodora Goss • Uncanny 28

Third Place
“Ode to the Artistic Temperament” • Michael H. Payne • Silver Blade 42
“The Macabre Modern” • Kyla Lee Ward • The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)

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SFPA announces 2018 Rhysling Awards

Congratulations to the 2018 Rhysling Award winners!

These are the best speculative poems of 2017, as voted on by members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (I am a voting member). This was my first time voting for the awards (and my first time being nominated, for the long poem “Instructions for Astronauts.” I enjoyed all these winning poems, and think it’s great that Mary Soon Lee won in both categories, including for a poem published in the same new journal I was published in, Mithila Review.but I still think Brandon O’Brien’s “Birth, Place” from Uncanny Magazine 18 deserves more recognition. You can read it here.

It is especially poignant that the Sara Cleto’s poem was published in the long-time fan favorite journal Mythic Delirium which, after twenty years, closed up shop with its April 2018 issue. The win is a testament to Mike Allen’s vision and talent and hard work.

Out of 83 short poems, and 63 long poems, only three won in each category. Click on the titles for links to the poems to read them. Enjoy!

Short Poem Category

First Place
“Advice to a Six-Year-Old”
Mary Soon Lee • Star*Line 40.2

Second Place
“How to Grieve: A Primer for Witches”
Sara Cleto • Mythic Delirium, May

Third Place
F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni 12/26/17

Long Poem Category

First Place
“The Mushroom Hunters”
Neil Gaiman • Brainpickings 4/26/17

Second Place
“For Preserves”
Cassandra Rose Clarke • Star*Line 40.4

Third Place
“Alternate Genders”
Mary Soon Lee • Mithila Review 9

National Book Critics Circle Announces 2017 Award Winners

The John Leonard Prize
The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing
The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for 2017 Awards

IMG_8528.jpgThe National Book Critics Circle has announced today winners of three prestigious prizes and nominees in nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, criticism and fiction. The awards will be announced on March 15.

  • Carmen Maria Machado’s debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf), is being honored with the John Leonard Prize, which recognizes an outstanding first book in any genre. It is named in honor of founding NBCC member John Leonard.
  • Charles Finch is being awarded the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
  • The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award will go to John McPhee.
Here is the complete list of NBCC Award finalists:

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Wally Cardona, Anne Bogart among awardees of first Doris Duke grants

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced today that 21 performing artists will share $5.7 million in grants.

Each recipient gets a multiyear grant of $225,000. They’ll also receive up to $50,000 for retirement savings and audience development.

Among the awardees are dancer-choreographer Wally Cardona, who will be performing Friday and Saturday night at EMPAC at RPI in Troy; theater and opera director Anne Bogart, who founded the SITI Company, which holds its summer residency at Skidmore in Saratoga Springs; and performers who have appeared regularly in the greater Capital Region, such as jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, choreographer-dancers Eiko & Koma and choreographer Reggie Wilson.
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Skidmore’s Steven Millhauser a Story Prize finalist

The Story Prize announced today the three finalists for the annual award for books of short fiction.

The three short story collections were chosen from among a field of 92 books submitted in 2011.

The finalists are:

• The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo (Scribner)
• We Others by Steven Millhauser (Alfred A. Knopf)
• Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman (Lookout Books)

The finalists were selected by Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey  and Director Larry Dark. The judges for this year’s award will be award-winning author Sherman Alexie, Indiana University comparative literature professor Breon Mitchell and Louise Steinman, the curator of the award-winning ALOUD reading/conversation series for the Los Angeles Public Library, and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC.

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Page Turner awards

Uber-best-selling mega-author James Patterson has announced the winners of his second Page Turner Awards.

The 39 winners of the 2006 James Patterson PageTurner Awards will receive cash prizes totaling $500,000. Among the winners are libraries, schools, bookstores, and innovative individuals and organizations that go to extraordinary lengths to spread the joy of books and reading across the country.

What is “Asian”?

The Complete Review links to an interesting article about the Man Asian Prize.

Here is the write-up about the prize from the organization itself:

This major new literary prize aims to recognise the best of new Asian literature and to bring it to the attention of the world literary community. A distinguished panel of judges selects a single work of fiction to be awarded the prize each year. Works submitted for consideration must not yet be published in English, although they may have been published in other languages.

The prize was initiated through Man Group plc, a leading global financial services firm based in London, and the Hong Kong Literary Festival, the premier event of its kind in Asia.

Here is the official Man Asian Literary Prize Web site.

The difficulty, of course, is that Asia is such a diverse region, including more than half the world’s population, stretching from Turkey to Japan. Complicating matters, is finding the right judges.

How far do Asians identify themselves as Asian, though? I cannot answer this question in historical or economic terms, but when it comes to literature, we have our barriers up. Even well-read Indians would find it difficult to name Korea’s greatest authors, Sri Lanka is not necessarily interested in the literature of Malaysia, Japan isn’t reading the best of Pakistani writing. And when we do read each other, we stick with authors who have been identified for us chiefly by curious Western readers in the media or in publishing. This is not such a bad thing—literature is an open community, and I don’t care who’s picking out the good stuff so long as the good stuff gets to me.

The Man Asian Literary Prize has its heart in the right place—it’s open specifically to literary fiction written in any Asian language that have not yet been published in English. This could do a lot to reverse the “Iceberg effect” that many writers suffer from—if you’re not published in English, you’re invisible to all but a small percentage of your potential readers.

But the controversy that’s grown around the 2007 Prize rests in the details. Nury Vittachi, the writer who came up with the idea behind the prize, has been effectively sidelined by Peter Goran, the prize administrator. Both men have played key roles—without Vittachi’s idea, there would have been no prize, without Goran’s flair for management, there would have been just a magnificent idea floating in mid-air. Without getting into the politics of the Prize, here’s the gist of the controversy.

Vittachi feels that an Asian prize deserves Asian judges.

The article is here.