October 26th, 2005

Egrets Reading

On the Quest for Short Short poems

Today, I went down to the Richard Riordan Central Library in Los Angeles to read all of poetry from the 2004 issues of Asimov's Science Fiction. It is the only library in the area that seems to subscribe.

I read them all but the September issue - when my requested periodicals were delivered, I had two copies of December 2004 and no September issue. Unfortunately, I noticed this about 10 minutes before 8:00 pm, near closing time, and I still needed to go down two floors to the circulation desk and apply for a library card so I could pay $1 to park instead of $7.

Although I've pretty much made my final selections for Dwarf Stars, I thought I'd better do a quick sanity check to make sure I haven't missed something spectacular.

I did find one poem I like a lot, so I'm crossing my fingers I'll be able to obtain reprint permission so I can use it.

There were actually quite a few short short poems published in Asimov's in 2004 - I'm kicking myself though for not keeping stats as I was going through the issues. I was a bit disappointed, however, that the majority of the Asimov's SF poems under 10 lines were joke poems. I suppose this is why someone from the opposition party seems to be afraid the short short Rhysling award, if voted in, might become the "joke" award.

Clever though some of these humorous poems are, they really aren't what I'm looking for, so I'm not going to include them.

More permissions have come in from Bruce Boston, Michael R Collings, Tim Jones, and Marge Simon.

I want to state for the record that inclusion in Dwarf Stars does not mean the poet necessarily agrees that there should be a short short Rhysling Award. I want Dwarf Stars to be a showcase for outstanding short short poems of 2004, not a collection of short short poems written by people who happen to agree with me.