Elgin Award Winners Announced — and Poetry Giveaway!

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) hosts the annual  Elgin Awards — named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin — which honor the best poetry books (49+ pages) and chapbooks (10–39 pages) of speculative poetry from the past two years.

The 2019 winners for book length collection are:

  • Winner: War: Dark Poems by Marge Simon & Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2018)
  • Second Place: Artifacts by Bruce Boston (Independent Legions, 2018)
  • Third Place: Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino (Sarabande Books, 2017)

The 2019 winners for chapbook length collection are:

That’s right! My collaborative chapbook written with the amazing Lauren Madeline Wiseman has placed third in the Elgin Awards. We are so phenomenally honored to be included among such amazing works of poetry.

And I’m so stoked that I’m hosting a poetry giveaway on my Instagram — featuring copies of the two winners and a copy of my collaborative chapbook.

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Elgin Award Giveaway! The prize is a stack of award-winning speculative poetry books: WAR by Marge Simon & Alessandro Manzetti (first place book), GLIMMERGLASS GIRL by Holly Lyn Walrath (first place chapbook), and EVERY GIRL BECOMES THE WOLF by Laura Madeline Wiseman and myself (third place chapbook) — all because I’m so honored to have our work included among these amazing poets. ––––– How to enter: 1. Like this post and follow @andreablythe, if you’re not already. 2. Tag three friends who might also want a chance a winning some poetry. 3. BONUS: Join my newsletter list at: tinyletter.com/andreablythe –––– (U.S. residents only. Giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram, the SFPA, or my fellow poets. Just wanted to share the joy. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PST on 10/20/2019. Winner will be selected using a random number generator. Good luck!)

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New Poetry in the World

I’ve had two new poems published over the past couple of months, each appearing in two journals that I respect and admire. “Belatedly, The Refusal” appears in Glass: A Journal of Poetry and “A Little Background Information” in Cotton Xenomorph.

Both of these poems are part of The Poeming project, in which over 50 poets were assigned one of Stephen King’s books and tasked with writing 31 found poems pulled from its pages. I was assigned The Plant, which I’ve continued working with of and on ever since. A number of the poems from this project have since been published and I’m starting to see the shape of a manuscript coming together.

Check out other poetry I’ve published here.


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Book Love: If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar

 If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar

I fell in love with Fatimah Asghar’s writing as soon as I heard her fantastic slam piece, “Pluto Shits on the Universe,” in which she gives Pluto voice and the power of chaos. So, when I learned that her collection, If They Come for Us, was available, I knew it was a book I had to own.

As described by Goodreads, “In this powerful and imaginative debut poetry collection, Fatimah Asghar nakedly captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in America by braiding together personal and marginalized people’s histories. After being orphaned as a young girl, Asghar grapples with coming-of-age as a woman without the guidance of a mother, questions of sexuality and race, and navigating a world that put a target on her back.”

If They Come for Us is a stunning collection of poetry, lyrical and powerful and moving. There are many things I love about this book, from the way Asghar addresses the political through the personal to the ways she plays with language and uses humor to drive home meaning.

Among the things I adore is the beautiful physicality found in many of these poems, in which the body is sketched out in vivid detail — and not just the pretty bits, but the full reality of a body that makes up a human being. A body is where “mosquito bites bloom” or where exist “hairs crawling out.” In “Oil,” she writes, “The walk to school makes the oil pool on my forehead / a lake spilling under my armpits.” The specifics of existing in a human body in these poems feel as though the speaker is declaring their existence in a world that doesn’t always want them. It’s a lovely way to claim space.

Asghar is inventive with the poetic form, not only presenting poems in free verse, but using words in unusual ways whether it’s putting a stanza upside down so that the book has to be flipped over to be read, or whether it’s situating her words within the constructs of a “games” in the form of a bingo card, mad libs, map, or cross word puzzle. The poems in this collection in their beauty and variety offer continual surprises and wisdom each time I read them.


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New Poetry & Stuff

I’ve got several goodies to share!

1. “Miss Piggy: Our lady of Owning That Shit” was published in Vol III, Issue 4 of Pittsburgh Poetry Houses. They publish beautiful little broadsides of poetry, which are displayed in little houses and offered for free in the local area before being shared online.


2. Bekah and Shannon Steimel reprinted “Ursula: Our Lady of Unrepentant Self Possession” followed by an interview in which I discuss my writing process, what I’m reading, and other such things.


3. “Welkin Waltz,” a collaborative poem by Laura Madeline Wiseman and I is up at Thirteen Myna Birds.  It’s a venue for dark poetry that I’ve loved for a long time, so it’s an honor to be included.


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Announcements: New Poetry and an Upcoming WonderCon Reading!

I’ve been slacking, so there are so many things to announce!

Every Girl Becomes the Wolf

Every Girl Becomes the Wolf is now available!

This chapbook explores the received images of the feminine in fairy tales. The women and girls in this collaborative chapbook resist the common tropes of red riding hoods, gilded mirrors, and iced palaces. Every girl becomes the wolf because every girl has the power to tear apart the cultural conceit of wicked stepmoms, heartless mothers, and voracious monsters. Witches, hags, and mothers of damaged creatures from myth, movies, and lore prowl through this poetry. Lilith settles in to enjoy the county fair rib-off, Grendel’s mother holds her son close, and the Sphynx bears the weight of mythic secrets. Mothers demand their own freedom, daughters refuse gendered expectations, and wives leave what spoils with rot behind. As they wrestle with their place in these stories, they transform into figures outside of the victims or villains they have been perceived to be.

I’m so proud of this chapbook of monstress poems Laura Madeline Wiseman and I coauthored and its been a delight to see that friends, family, and strangers have been receiving the book.

I received my author copies this week — with their gorgeously smooth textured covers — just in time for WorldCon 76 this weekend! If you’re going to be there, consider stopping by Room 212C to hear me read some poetry-type things along with some fellow Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) members.


They Said – Undead Anthologies

Two gorgeous new anthologies have also entered the world in recent weeks.

They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing, edited by Simone Muench and Dean Rader, includes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as hybridized forms that push the boundaries of concepts like “genre” and “author.” Each piece is also presented with a afterward in which the collaborators describe their process for working together. The anthology includes “A Gathering of Baba Yagas” cowritten by Laura Madeline Wiseman and I.

Undead: A Poetry Anthology of Ghosts, Ghouls, and More, edited by Bianca Lynne Spriggs and Katerina Stoykova, offers over seventy contemporary poets contending with a time-honored topic: what lies beyond ‘the great beyond.’ It showcases poems ranging from deceased relatives and celebrities to other undead entities such as, vampires, automatons, angels, and yes, zombies. This anthology includes a reprint of my poem “Beware of Attics”

In other poetry news, Laura Madeline Wiseman and I have some new poems out in the world — “Reflection of the Blind” appears the Eye to the Telescope Issue 29 – The Dark, and “Pouring the Pennyroyal,” “Fish Bone Wishes,” and “Cento of the Golden Key” are up at Priestess & Hierophant

The latest edition of my newsletter is out, if you want to check it out!