The 2023 Dwarf Stars Anthology and Award

SFPA members only may vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd at
Voting deadline is August 31

2023 Dwarf Stars cover

The 2023 Dwarf Stars Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Short Poetry of 2022

David C. Kopaska-Merkel photoDavid C. Kopaska-Merkel won the 2006 Rhysling award (long poem, written with Kendall Evans), and edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine (since 1986). His poems have been published in Asimov’sStrange Horizons, and more than 200 other venues. Some Disassembly Required, a collection of dark poetry, was published in 2022. @DavidKMresists on CS. Blog:

Miguel O. Mitchell photoMiguel O. Mitchell, PhD
(he/him) is a Black speculative poet, SFF author, visual artist, and retired chemistry professor fond of adding chemical imagery and neologism to his poems. He has published his poems in Dreams and Nightmares, Eye to the Telescope,  Scifaikuest, and Star*Line. He is also author of an illustrated book of very short poems, Periodic Table of Alien Species (Elements 1–86) (Barnes & Noble).

Cover Art
: Milky Way Dreams © 2019 Pamela Gordimer
Layout: F. J. Bergmann
Publisher: Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association

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Dwarf Stars contributor bios

2023 Award Winners

Winners (tie):
“Believe the Graves” • Rasha Abdulhadi • The Deadlands 16
“In Perpetuity” • Bruce Boston • Analog, July/August

2nd Place:
“Excerpt from a Proposal for the New City” • Alyssa Lo • Strange Horizons, 11/14

3rd Place (tie):
As Slow as Starlight • Kim Whysall-Hammond • Frozen Wavelets 7
Surviving • Sumiko Saulson • The Rat King: A Book of Dark Poetry (Dooky Zines)
Trichotillomania • Warsan Shire • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head (Random House)

Honorable Mentions:
[diameter pi the lake solves for moon] • Kat Lehmann • Frogpond 45
A Vision of the Future • J. Y. T. Kennedy • Polar Starlight 5

Rasha Abdulhadi photo spacer

Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner disabled by Long Covid. Their work has been featured in Kweli, Mizna, ROOM, FIYAH, Strange Horizons, the Poem-a-Day series, and is anthologized in Snaring New Suns, Unfettered Hexes, and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler. A writer, editor, fiber artist, and cultural organizer, Rasha is the author of Shell Houses and who is owed springtime.

Bruce Boston photo   Bruce Boston is the author of sixty books and chapbooks. His poetry and fiction have appeared in hundreds of publications, most visibly in Amazing Stories, Analog, Asimov’s SF, Daily Science Fiction, Pedestal Magazine, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin’s) and Year’s Best Horror (DAW), and have received numerous awards, most notably, a Pushcart Prize, the Bram Stoker Award, the Asimov’s Readers’ Award, the Rhysling Award, and the Grand Master Award of the SFPA.
Alyssa Lo photo   Alyssa Lo is a poet & writer exploring language and the speculative as a way to understand the present. Alyssa studied writing, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Code as a Liberal Art at The New School. Aside from reading and writing, Alyssa is interested in game design (narrative & mechanics) and digital language preservation. Originally from Hawai'i, Alyssa is now based in New York
Sumiko Saulson photo   Sumiko Saulson (ze/hir or they/them)  was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and Elgin Award nominated for their 2022 poetry collection The Rat King: A Book of Dark Poetry (Dooky Zines), and is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror whose latest novel Happiness and Other Diseases is available on Mocha Memoirs Press. Winner of the HWA Scholarship from Hell (2016) BCC Voice "Reframing the Other" contest (2017), Mixy Award (2017), Afrosurrealist Writer Award (2018), HWA Diversity Grant (2020), HWA Richard Laymon Presidents Award (2021), Ladies of Horror Fiction Readers Choice Award (2021). Sumiko has an AA in English from Berkeley City College, writes a column called "Writing While Black" for a national Black Newspaper, the San Francisco BayView, is the host of the SOMA Leather and LGBT Cultural District's "Erotic Storytelling Hour,"  and teaches courses at the Speculative Fiction Academy.
Warsan Shire photo   Warsan Shire is a British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya.[1] In 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries.[2] Her words "No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark", from the poem "Conversations about Home (at a deportation centre)", have been called "a rallying call for refugees and their advocates".
Kim Whysall-Hammond photo   Kim Whysall-Hammond was born and raised in London, yet now lives deep in the country. She is an Astronomer who has also worked in Climate Research and in Telecommunications. Her speculative poetry has appeared in American Diversity Report, Andromeda Spaceways, Dreams and NightmaresEternal Haunted Summer, Frozen Wavelets, Kaleidotrope, On SpecSilver Blade, Star*line and The Dread Machine. She also has specualtive poems in anthologies from Milk and Cake Press and Brigids Gate Press. Her first Chapbook is forthcoming from Palewell Pess in 2024. Find more of her work at

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Anthology Table of Contents
(105 poems)

[abducted by aliens now I feel needed] • Ken Slaughter • failed haiku 74
[absentmindedly] • Nick Hoffman • Scifaikuest, February print
AI can't believe it's not human • Ken Slaughter • failed haiku 74
[ancient archives] • Helen Ogden • failed haiku 74
Another Day, Another Year • Ann Christine Tabaka • American Diversity Report, 3/20
As Slow as Starlight • Kim Whysall-Hammond • Frozen Wavelets 7
Aurum • Mariel Herbert • The Sirens Call 60
[bedtime story…] • Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta • horror senryu journal, 12/12
Believe the Graves • Rasha Abdulhadi • The Deadlands 16
A Bird in Hand • Shelly Jones • Octavos, 2/21
Bureaucratic • Mahaila Smith • Long Con Magazine, October
Bury Me Under Fallen Stars • Victoria Nations • Autumnal Equinox: Harvest, 9/14
[butterfly effect] • Colleen Anderson • Utopia, June/July
Cancer Surgery on Half a Shell • Mariel Herbert • Carmina Magazine, September
The Changing Face of Fear • Lisa Timpf • Eccentric Orbits 3, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
[charged particles] • Deborah P Kolodji • Eccentric Orbits 3, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
[chill Halloween evening] • xeno-unit (teri santitoro) • Scifaikuest November online
[cocktail hour] • Greg Schwartz • Star*Line 45.4
[a corpse] • Anna Cates • Five Fleas, 10/9
The Cosmologist Dreams of Venus • Aaron Sandberg • Space & Time Magazine 142
The Cover-Up • Randall Andrews • Star*Line 45.4
Curse of the Clock • Joe Haldeman • Asimov's SF, November/December
Dark Secret Garden • Max Bindi • The Horror Zine, October
Date Night • Melissa Ridley Elmes • Spectral Realms 16
[deep-space mission] • Ngo Binh Anh Khoa • Scifaikuest, May print
[a derecho] • Debbie Strange • Prune Juice 38
[diameter pi the lake solves for moon] • Kat Lehmann • Frogpond 45
[discarded pie] • Keith Evetts • horror senryu journal, 10/4
Dreamcaster • Angel Leal • Space & Time Magazine 142
The Dwelling • Lorraine Schein • Space & Time Magazine 141
Earthlings Among Us • Michael McCormick • Star*Line 45.2
Eldritch Mother • Melodie Bolt • Under Her Skin: A Women in Horror Poetry Showcase Vol. 1 (HWA)
Excerpt from a Proposal for the New City • Alyssa Lo • Strange Horizons, 11/14
The Explorers Return • Goran Lowie • Utopia, October/November
Fifth Tongue • Eva Papasoulioti • Silver Blade 53
[finally able] • Matthew Wilson • Dreams and Nightmares 121
Finest particles' dance • Yuliia Vereta • Star*Line 45.1
For Khione • Shelly Jones • Trouvaille Review, 3/14
[Four-faced doll] • PS Cottier • Antipodean SF 290
Frankenstein • Eavonka Ettinger • Five Fleas, 10/4
The Garden of Night • Andrew White • Spectral Realms 17
[Glastonbury] • Helen Buckingham • Blithe Spirit 32.2
Globular Cluster • F. J. Bergmann • The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review 1
[golem] • Marisca Pichette • Star*Line 45.2
[her leafy blush] • Tyler McIntosh • Scifaikuest, August
Holocene Park: AIs • Denise Dumars • Cajuns in Space
In Perpetuity • Bruce Boston • Analog, July/August
[interstellar flight] • Eva Joan • failed haiku 74
[leafy alien] • Herb Kauderer • Star*Line 45.3
[locking eyes] • Barun Saha • the cherita 5:12
[long after…] • Roberta Beary • Blithe Spirit, 2/22
[long story short] • Richard Magahiz • Five Fleas, 9/21
Masquerade • Rachel Tyle • The Sirens Call 57
Maxime • Meg Smith • The Chamber Magazine, 10/7
mea culpa • Eugen Bacon • African Literature Today 40
[meteor sizzling] • Anna Cates • Five Fleas, 9/20
[midnight the sun moonlighting] • Tim Cremin • tiny words, 7/12
[mission to Titan] • Lisa Timpf • Eccentric Orbits 3, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
[months after his death] • Joseph P. Wechselberger • horror senryu journal, 12/14
[morning newspaper] • Ngo Binh Anh Khoa • Scifaikuest, May print
Most highly honored • Richard Magahiz • Eye to the Telescope 44
[mourning] • Colleen M. Farrelly • failed haiku 74
[multiverse…] • A. J. Wentz • Dreams and Nightmares 122
[mushroom cloud] • Joshua St. Claire • Star*Line 45.4
My Daughter, in Her Silver Sky • Meg Smith • Aphelion, March
[my robot boyfriend] • Jenny Thompson • Scifaikuest, August
Never Was a Princess Girl • Melissa Ridley Elmes • Star*Line 45.1
Night at Ithaca • Federica Santini • Carmina Magazine, September
[no price is too high] • Randall Andrews • Star*Line 45.4
Nor Am I Out of It • Noah Berlatsky • Asses of Parnassus, 12/2
Ode to Harriet • Alicia Hilton • AvantAppal(achia) 12
[parallel worlds] • Ken Slaughter • failed haiku 74
[planetarium] • John Hawkhead • Poetry Pea, September
Questions for the Fallen • Omodero David Oghenekaro • Strange Horizons, 8/1
[rain shadow] • C. R. Harper • Haiku Dialogue, 8/17
[rereading] • Peggy Hale Bilbro • Haiku Dialogue, 2/23
[sawdust protected our torsos] • Richard Magahiz • Five Fleas, 9/23
Shelter • Koji A. Dae • Octavos, 2/21
Shore Leave • James Arthur Anderson • The Fifth Dimension, December
[show me, I said] • Lauren McBride • Dreams and Nightmares 120
[skeleton eyes] • Greer Woodward • Haiku Dialogue, 1/19
[sky memorial] • Akua Lezli Hope • Scifaikuest, February
[snakeskin tote glistens] • Gary W. Davis • Star*Line 45.1
[sometimes a wish] • Anna Cates • Cold Moon Journal, 10/19
[spaceship window…] • Mark Gilbert • Five Fleas, 12/5
[a stack of turtles] • Mahaila Smith • Ribbons, 10/15
[star gazing] • John Hawkhead • tiny words, 4/1
[the sudden chill] • Deborah P Kolodji • failed haiku 74
Sunlight Loves A Crystalline Structure • Robert Frazier • Asimov’s SF, May/June
Surviving • Sumiko Saulson • The Rat King: A Book of Dark Poetry (Dooky Zines)
Tasty • Greg Fewer • Polar Starlight 7
Tea Dragon • Herb Kauderer • Scifaikuest, August
[termination shock] • Deborah P Kolodji • Eccentric Orbits 3, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
Thanks for Nothing • Randall Andrews • Star*Line 45.2
[thinning] • Akua Lezli Hope • ubu, small absurdist poems 4
Time and Again • Greg Schwartz • Abyss & Apex 82
Time Travel II • Akua Lezli Hope • Star*Line 45.4
Trichotillomania • Warsan Shire • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head (Random House)
[two hearts] • Valentina Ranaldi-Adams • failed haiku 74
[the universe] • Greer Woodward • Star*Line 45.2
Vampire Therapist • Alan Ira Gordon • Star*Line 45.4
A Vision of the Future • J. Y. T. Kennedy • Polar Starlight 5
What Fairy Godmothers Read • Mary Soon Lee • Kaleidotrope, Summer
[wishing this] • Petro C. K. • Haikuniverse, 10/31
[wolf moon…] • Greg Schwartz • Dreams and Nightmares 122

Nominations per publication: (50 venues)

1   Abyss & Apex
1   African Literature Today
1   American Diversity Report
1   Analog
1   AntipodeanSF
1   Aphelion
2   Asimov's Science Fiction
1   Asses of Parnassus
1   Autumnal Equinox
1   AvantAppal(achia)
2   Blithe Spirit
1   Cajuns in Space
2   Carmina Magazine
1   The Chamber
1   the cherita
1   Cold Moon Journal
1   The Deadlands
4   Dimensionfold Publishing
4   Dreams and Nightmares
1   Dooky Zines
1   Eye to the Telescope
8   failed haiku
5   Five Fleas
1   The Fifth Di…
1   Frogpond
3   Haiku Dialogue
1   Haikuniverse
3   horror senryu journal
1   Horror Writers Association
1   The Horror Zine
1   Kaleidotrope
1   Long Con Magazine
2   Octavos
1   Penumbric
1   Poetry Pea
2   Polar Starlight
1   Random House
1   Ribbons
8   Scifaikuest
1   Shot Glass Journal
1   Silver Blade
2   The Sirens Call
3   Space & Time Magazine
1   The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review
2   Spectral Realms
14   Star*Line
2   Strange Horizons
2   tiny words
1   Trouvaille Review
1   ubu, small absurdist poems
2   Utopia

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