Rhysling Award

Tagged: Award

A regular Award for sf and fantasy Poetry, presented annually since 1978 by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. It is named for the blind balladeer of Robert A Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth" (8 February 1947 Saturday Evening Post), and faithful to that provenance tends to focus on poets whose careers have been significantly shaped by Genre SF, broadly understood. This may explain the absence from the awards roster (listed below) of more widely recognized poets who may all the same have written large bodies of sf poetry, much of this being of the first rank. Poets not honoured include Albert Goldbarth, James Merrill and Edwin Morgan. There are two categories: short, defined as poems of up to 49 lines, and long, with 50 lines or more. Runners-up are currently announced along with the winners (a practice introduced in 1995), but only winners are listed here, by the year of the award rather than of publication. As with SFWA and the Nebulas, preliminary nominations are made by members of the supporting organization, not by popular vote; in this case the SF Poetry Association. Each member may nominate two poems: the most popular nominees are collected as the annual Rhysling Anthology sent to the entire membership to facilitate informed voting on the winners. Again echoing SFWA, a Grand Master award for life achievement has occasionally been presented since 2000; see the list below. [DRL]


  • 1978: (tie) Sonya Dorman, "Corruption of Metals" (in 2076: The American Tricentennial, anth 1977, ed Edward Bryant); Andrew Joron, "Asleep in the Arms of Mother Night" (1977 Speculative Poetry Review); Duane Ackerson, The Starman (1977 Cthulhu Calls)
  • 1979: (tie) Duane Ackerson, "Fatalities" (in The Eggplant and Other Absurdities, coll 1978); Steve Eng, "Story Books and Treasure Maps" (1978 ???) as by John Bredon
  • 1980: (tie) Peter Payack, "The Migration of Darkness" (August 1979 Asimov's); Robert Frazier, "Encased in the Amber of Eternity" (in The Future at War 1: Thor's Hammer, anth 1979, ed Reginald Bretnor)
  • 1981: Ken Duffin, "Meeting Place" (November 1980 Asimov's)
  • 1982: Raymond DiZazzo, "On the Speed of Sight" (1981 Uranus)
  • 1983: Alan P Lightman, "In Computers" (1982 Science 82)
  • 1984: Helen Ehrlich, "Two Sonnets" (1983 Science 83)
  • 1985: Bruce Boston, "For Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets" (April 1984 Asimov's)
  • 1986: Susan Palwick, "The Neighbor's Wife" (July 1985 Amazing)
  • 1987: (tie) John Calvin Rezmerski, "A Dream of Heredity" (1986 Tales of the Unanticipated); Jonathan V Post, "Before the Big Bang: News from the Hubble Large Space Telescope" (1986 Star*Line)
  • 1988: (tie) Bruce Boston, "The Nightmare Collector" (1987 Night Cry); Suzette Haden Elgin, "Rocky Road to Hoe" (1987 Star*Line)
  • 1989: Robert Frazier, "Salinity" (February 1988 F&SF)
  • 1990: G Sutton Breiding, "Epitaph for Dreams" (in Narcopolis & Other Poems, coll 1989)
  • 1991: Joe Haldeman, "Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh" (August 1990 Asimov's)
  • 1992: David Lunde, "Song of the Martian Cricket" (December 1991 Asimov's)
  • 1993: Jane Yolen, "Will" (1992 The Magazine of Speculative Poetry)
  • 1994: (tie) Bruce Boston, "Spacer's Compass" (in Specula: Selected Uncollected Poems, 1968-1993, coll 1993 chap); Jeff VanderMeer, "Flight Is for Those Who Have Not Yet Crossed Over" (1993 The Silver Web)
  • 1995: Dan Raphael, "Skin of Glass" (1994 The Kore)
  • 1996: Bruce Boston, "Future Present: A Lesson in Expectation" (March 1995 Asimov's)
  • 1997: W Gregory Stewart, "Day Omega" (October/November 1996 Asimov's)
  • 1998: John Grey, "Explaining Frankenstein to His Mother" (1997 Star*Line)
  • 1999: Laurel Winter, "egg horror poem" (July 1998 Asimov's)
  • 2000: Rebecca Marjesdatter, "Grimoire" (1999 Tales of the Unanticipated #20)
  • 2001: Bruce Boston, "My Wife Returns As She Would Have It" (March 2000 Asimov's)
  • 2002: William John Watkins, "We Die as Angels" (May 2001 Asimov's)
  • 2003: Ruth Berman, "Potherb Gardening" (December 2002 Asimov's)
  • 2004: Roger Dutcher, "Just Distance" (2003 Tales of the Unanticipated #24)
  • 2005: Greg Beatty, "No Ruined Lunar City" (October 2004 Abyss & Apex)
  • 2006: Mike Allen, "The Strip Search" (3 October 2005 Strange Horizons)
  • 2007: Rich Ristow, "The Graven Idol's Godheart" (March 2006 The Shantytown Anomaly)
  • 2008: F J Bergmann, "Eating Light" (Summer/Fall 2007 Mythic Delirium)
  • 2009: Amal El-Mohtar, "Song for an Ancient City" (2008 Mythic Delirium)
  • 2010: Ann K Schwader, "To Theia" (2009 Strange Horizons)
  • 2011: Amal El-Mohtar, "Peach-Creamed Honey" (in The Honey Month, coll 2010 chap)
  • 2012: Shira Lipkin, "The Library, After" (June 2011 Mythic Delirium)
  • 2013: Terry Garey, "The Cat Star" (in Lady Poetesses from Hell, anth 2012, ed Bag Person Press Collective)
  • 2014: Amal El-Mohtar, "Turning the Leaves" (December 2013 Apex Magazine #55)
  • 2015: Marge Simon, "Shutdown" (in Qualia Nous, anth 2014, ed Michael Bailey)
  • 2016: Ruth Berman, "Time Travel Vocabulary Problems" (January 2015 Dreams and Nightmares #100)
  • 2017: Marge Simon, "George Tecumseh Sherman's Ghosts" (Fall 2016 Silver Blade)
  • 2018: Mary Soon Lee, "Advice to a Six-Year-Old" (Spring 2017 Star*Line 40.2)
  • 2019: Beth Cato, "After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls" (January-March 2018 Mythic Delirium)


  • 1978: Gene Wolfe, "The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps" (1977 Speculative Poetry Review)
  • 1979: Michael Bishop, "For the Lady of a Physicist" (in Black Holes, anth 1978, ed Jerry Pournelle)
  • 1980: Andrew Joron, "The Sonic Flowerfall of Primes" (September 1979 New Worlds)
  • 1981: Thomas M Disch, "On Science Fiction" (1980 Triquarterly) as by Tom Disch
  • 1982: Ursula K Le Guin, "The Well of Baln" (in Hard Words & Other Poems, coll 1981 chap)
  • 1983: Adam Cornford, "Your Time and You: A Neoprole's Dating Guide" (1982 Velocities)
  • 1984: Joe Haldeman, "Saul's Death: Two Sestinas" (February 1983 Omni)
  • 1985: Siv Cedering, "A Letter from Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)" (1984 Science 84)
  • 1986: Andrew Joron, "Shipwrecked on Destiny Five" (May 1985 Asimov's)
  • 1987: W Gregory Stewart, "Daedalus" (1986 Star*Line)
  • 1988: Lucius Shepard, "White Trains" (1987 Night Cry)
  • 1989: (tie) Bruce Boston, "In the Darkened Hours" (in The Nightmare Collector, coll 1988 chap); John M Ford, "Winter Solstice, Camelot Station" (in Invitation to Camelot, anth 1988, ed Parke Godwin)
  • 1990: Patrick McKinnon, "dear spacemen" (1989 Vice Versa)
  • 1991: David Memmott, "The Aging Cryonicist in the Arms of His Mistress Contemplates the Survival of the Species While the Phoenix Is Consumed by Fire" (1990 The Magazine of Speculative Poetry)
  • 1992: W Gregory Stewart, "the button, and what you know" (June 1991 Amazing)
  • 1993: William J Daciuk, "To Be from Earth" (1992 Xizquil)
  • 1994: W Gregory Stewart & Robert Frazier, "Basement Flats" (in Air Fish, anth 1993, ed Joy E Oestricher & Richard Singer)
  • 1995: David Lunde, "Pilot, Pilot" (1994 Star*Line)
  • 1996: Marge Simon, "Variants of the Obsolete" (in Eonian Variations, The Selected Poetry of Marge Simon, coll 1995)
  • 1997: Terry A Garey, "Spotting UFOs While Canning Tomatoes" (in Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey, anth 1996, ed Anne McCaffrey & John Gregory Betancourt)
  • 1998: Laurel Winter, "why goldfish shouldn't use power tools" (December 1997 Asimov's)
  • 1999: Bruce Boston, Confessions of a Body Thief (1998 broadsheet)
  • 2000: Geoffrey A Landis, "Christmas (after we all get time machines)" (December 1999 Asimov's)
  • 2001: Joe Haldeman, "January Fires" (January 2001 Asimov's) – magazine issue actually published 2000
  • 2002: Lawrence Schimel, "How to Make a Human" (in Half-Human, anth 2001, ed Bruce Coville)
  • 2003: (tie) Charles Saplak and Mike Allen, "Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy" (February 2002 Eotu Ezine); Sonya Taaffe, "Matlacihuatl's Gift" (September 2002 Dreams & Nightmares)
  • 2004: Theodora Goss, "Octavia Is Lost in the Hall of Masks" (Winter/Spring 2003 Mythic Delirium)
  • 2005: Tim Pratt, "Soul Searching" (12 July 2004 Strange Horizons)
  • 2006: Kendall Evans & David C Kopaska-Merkel, "The Tin Men" (Winter 2004/2005 The Magazine of Speculative Poetry)
  • 2007: Mike Allen, "The Journey to Kailash" (23 January 2006 Strange Horizons)
  • 2008: Catherynne M Valente, "The Seven Devils of Central California" (July 2007 Farrago's Wainscot)
  • 2009: Geoffrey A Landis, "Search" (2008 Helix SF)
  • 2010: Kendall Evans & Samantha Henderson, "In the Astronaut Asylum" (2009 Mythic Delirium)
  • 2011: C S E Cooney, "The Sea King's Second Bride" (Spring 2010 Goblin Fruit)
  • 2012: Megan Arkenberg, "The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages" (27 June 2011 Strange Horizons)
  • 2013: Andrew Robert Sutton, "Into Flight" (Spring 2012 Silver Blade #14)
  • 2014: Mary Soon Lee, "Interregnum" (Autumn 2013 Star*Line 36.4)
  • 2015: F J Bergmann, "100 Reasons to Have Sex with an Alien" (2014 SFPA Poetry Contest)
  • 2016: (tie) Krysada Panusith Phounsiri, "It Begins With A Haunting" (in Dance among Elephants, coll 2015); Ann K Schwader, "Keziah" (in Dark Energies, coll 2015)
  • 2017: Theodora Goss, "Rose Child" (November/December 2016 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2018: Neil Gaiman, "The Mushroom Hunters" (26 April 2017 Brainpickings)
  • 2019: Sarah Tolmie, "Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld" (April 2018 On Spec)

Grand Master


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