Sunday recs: sf/f poetry and discussion

I was down with the flu most of last week, so I’ve been too tired and braindead to work on any of my writing projects. Sad. Hopefully the coming week will be better in that respect!

I should post here more than just for Sunday recs. But on weekdays, after work + writing/socialising/dance class/insert other activity here, I’m rarely coherent enough to make sensible posts. Perhaps one day!

Anyway, now for some links.

Goblin Fruit’s winter issue is out! I haven’t had time to read any of the poems yet, but Goblin Fruit is a lovely publication and pretty much all their issues have fantastic stuff. So go there for your fairytale-flavoured poem fix!

Speaking of speculative poetry: Paul Cook writes about why sf poetry is “embarrassingly bad”. Dear readers, I’ll admit I huffed and rolled my eyes while reading this piece. Needless to say, I disagree intensely with Cook. The sample of science fiction poetry that he uses in his piece is hardly representative of the sf poetry genre as a whole! To me it feels like Cook’s just saying “I found a couple of science fiction poems that are bad; hence all sf poetry is bad.” Not very sound reasoning. I’ve read quite a bit of speculative poetry, and while some of it is bad – obviously! Sturgeon’s Law and all that – there are also absolute gems to be found. There are writers who pay attention to the sounds and words and hidden meanings, just like in any other genre of poetry!

F. J. Bergmann has written a response to Cook’s disparaging piece; Bergmann manages to articulate a lot of the things that occurred to me when reading Cook’s piece, so I recommend checking her response out.

And now for some more poetry links. Here are a couple of poems from Goblin Fruit’s archives:
Huldre by Joshua Gage (a lush, Norse-inspired image)
All the Mari’s Parties by Mat Joiner (about one of the creepiest creatures in Welsh folklore, the Mari Lwyd)
Kingdom by Rachel Dacus (a shout of joy).

And finally, in defence of sf poetry: here are some examples of science fiction poems that I think are utterly wonderful. I’ll let them speak for themselves.
Postcards from Mars by C. S. E. Cooney
The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages by Megan Arkenberg
Asteres Planetai by Amal El-Mohtar.

Happy reading! Speaking of which, I just started reading The Lord of the Rings again. For the I’ve-no-idea-how-manyeth time (I used to reread it at least once a year from around age 11 to 17), but this time it’s been almost a decade since I last read it, so it’s a bit of a different experience. And yet not. I absorbed that book so deeply when I was a teenager that each sentence is like coming back home.