Each year, members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association assist the editors of the Dwarf Stars anthology with picking the best very short speculative poems published in the previous year. These poems are placed in the anthology, and the SFPA membership then nominates the best of the best for a Dwarf Stars Award, considered by some to be the highest honor for very short speculative poetry. The following are my picks for 2012:
1st Place: "The Mermaid's Winter Song" by Brittany Warman. This was also my first place pick for a Rhysling Award in the short poem category. For a review of this poem, please see Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine, Volume 1, Issue 1, August 2013.
2nd Place: "will my full hair" by LeRoy Gorman. I identified with this poem perhaps because my own full head of hair is just beginning to turn white. As I read the poem, I found myself on a sub-light speed spaceship on the way back from a distant star. I love it when a short poem creates a long backstory as this one does.
3rd Place: "Three Alien Koans" by Greg Beatty. The sardonic tone of this three haiku set is simply delicious, as are the double meanings of the subjects of the haiku.