Deborah P Kolodji, Nancy Ellis Taylor, Kendall Evans, W. Gregory Stewart
Today's poetry panel at Loscon was a fantastic session of speculative poetry, despite the fact one of our panelists, Denise Dumars, was unable to attend. Fortunately, Nancy Ellis Taylor was available to step in.
After a blurb about the Science Fiction Poetry Association, we started with a quick round of introductions. Each of us talked a little about why we wrote speculative poetry and read one of our poems. I read "Lake Vostok" from Mythic Delirium. Greg read "in requieum "Turdius magatorious propinquus," Nancy recited "Zombie Girl in Love" from Star*Line and another short poem, and Kendall read "In Wicked Hollows on Darkling Plains," a collaboration with David C. Kopaska-Merkel from Asimov's Science Fiction and the 2007 Rhysling Anthology.
Then, we had a poetry writing exercise that riffed off the convention theme - "But wait...there's more!"
Together with audience participants, we generated a list of things we thought might complete a sentence which started with the theme. I took an idea from the local haiku workshop and had everyone close their eyes as I read this back to them:
But wait, there's more spaceships,
more alien languages.
But wait, there's more unexpected flashes of light,
more things falling in the swamp,
more vines creeping out,
more gremlins in the bushes.
But wait, there's more ways to go to Mars,
more sequined bat wings.
We gave everyone fifteen minutes to write a poem using one or more of the elements we came up with. It was fun to hear what everyone came up with! I urged everyone to polish them a bit and send them out. This led into a discussion of speculative poetry markets, including questions on submission procedures, how to find markets, etc. We also fielded questions about poetry critique groups and workshops, and talked about some of our the Southland Poets of the Fantastic workshops.
Before we knew it, Loscon volunteers were holding up a "5 minute" warning sign in the back of the room and our time was up.