The 2017 Rhysling Winners

2017 Rhysling Award—Short Poem: Marge Simon
Winning poem: “George Tecumseh Sherman’s Ghosts”

Appeared in Silver Blade 32

Marge Simon’s works appear in publications such as DailySF Magazine, Pedestal, Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter, “Blood & Spades: Poets of the Dark Side,” and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, 2010, and the SFPA’s Dwarf Stars Award, 2012. In addition to her poetry, she has published two prose collections: Christina's World (Sam’s Dot Publications, 2008) and Like Birds in the Rain (Sam’s Dot, 2007). She has won three Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Work in Poetry. Her poems appear in Qualia Nous (Written Backwards), The Dark Phantastique (Jasunni Productions) and more poems appear in Chiral Mad (Written Backwards) anthology and the HWA/Simon & Schuster Y/A collection, 2015, and  fiction upcoming in Chiral Mad 4 and The Beauty of Death: Death by Water.


2017 Rhysling Award—Long Poem: Theodora Goss
Winning poem: “Rose Child”

Appeared in Uncanny 13

Theodora Goss is the World Fantasy Award–winning author of the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions(2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format; the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia (2014); and debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List, and her work has been translated into eleven languages. She teaches literature and writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. Visit her at


Second Place—Short Poem: Wendy Rathbone
“Build a Rocketship Contest: Alternative
Class A Instructions and Suggestions”

Appeared in Asimov’s SF January


Second Place—Long Poem: Adam Bolivar
“The Rime of the Eldritch Mariner”

Appeared in Spectral Realms 5

Adam Bolivar specializes in writing metered and rhymed ballads, a traditional poetic form that taps into haunted undercurrents of folklore to produce spectral effects seldom found in other forms of writing. He is also a marionettist, and performs original plays written in ballad form. Bolivar's poetry has appeared on the pages of such publications as Spectral Realms and Black Wings of Cthulhu VI. His collection of weird balladry and Jack tales, The Lay of Old Hex, is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press in 2018.


Third Place—Short Poem: (tie)
James S. Dorr
“Godzilla vs. King Kong”

Appeared in Dreams and Nightmares 103

Indiana short fiction writer and poet James Dorr’s THE TEARS OF ISIS was a 2014 Bram Stoker Award® nominee for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection. Other books include STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, and his all-poetry VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  Also just out in June 2017 from Elder Signs Press is a novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH. An Active Member of HWA and SFWA as well as the SFPA and with more than 500 individual appearances from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine to Yellow Bat Review, Dorr invites readers to visit his blog at


Jon Wesick
“Richard Feynman’s Commute”

Appeared in The Were-Traveler Dec. 21

Jon Wesick is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry AnnualHe’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. The editors of Knot Magazine nominated his story “The Visitor” for a Pushcart Prize. His poem “Meditation Instruction” won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another poem “Bread and Circuses” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists Contest. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels and a short story collection.


Beth Cato
“The Box of Dust and Monsters”

Appeared in Devilfish Review 17

Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth Trilogy from Harper Voyager. Her newest novel is Call of Fire. She’s a Hanford, California, native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.


Third Place—Long Poem: Mary Soon Lee
Poem: “Not Like This”

Appeared in Apex Magazine Aug. 4

Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. She has had over three hundred poems published, in places ranging from American Scholar, to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Not Like This” is part of The Sign of the Dragon, her epic fantasy told in poems. The first part of King Xau’s story, Crowned: The Sign of the Dragon, Book 1, won the 2016 Elgin Award. A dozen poems from the epic may be read at


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