It's been a long time since I produced a new Poetry Planet - about a year! And 3 years since I produced a themed edition, as opposed to a Science Fiction Poetry Association Award/Contest Showcase. But here we are and Poetry Planet No. 16 has hit the airwaves! You can listen to it as part of StarShipSofa No.
This edition features the fauna of Poetry Planet - its Animals and Creatures. And while we don't catch a glimpse of them all, we do hear from Ants, Earthworms, Rabbits, Cats (many cats!), Chimpanzees, Dragons, and Dinosaurs. I hope you enjoy(ed) it!
Since I included 12 poems including 2 rather long ones, I decided NOT to include the bios and publication credits within the show. As it is, it's 25 minutes long! So here is the missing information on the poets and their poems:
Russell Jones - "The Ant Swap" first appeared in Spaces of Their Own.
Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He is the author of four published collections of poetry: The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping (Freight Books, 2015), “Our Terraced Hum” (in Caboodle, Prole Books, 2015), "Spaces of Their Own" (Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2013) and "The Last Refuge" (Forest Publications, 2009). He is the poetry editor and assistant editor at Shoreline of Infinity, a Scottish science fiction magazine, is the editor of "Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK" (Penned in the Margins, 2012) and was a guest editor for The Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. Russell's poems have been widely published internationally, winning recognition in awards and competitions including The Best Scottish Poems 2013, The Eric Gregory Award, The Venture Award for Poetry and the Bridport Prize. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from Edinburgh University and has published on the poetry of Edwin Morgan. Russell’s has also published travel writing and is currently working on writing novels for young adults. Russell has taught Scottish Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Edinburgh, The City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School (2009 to present).
Delbert R. Gardner - "The Meek Shall Inherit ... (the Earthworm Speaks)" was first published in Goblin Fruit, Summer 2009. Reprinted in The 2010 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2009, selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, edited by Jaime Lee Moyer, Science Fiction Poetry Association, 2010.
Joanne Merriam - "Magic Rabbits" first appeared in Stride Magazine (27 April 2010).
Joanne Merriam is the owner and editor of Upper Rubber Boot Books, and former editor of Seven by Twenty.
She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1973. A graduate in English and Mathematics from Dalhousie University, she has worked as an oil and gas lease and title administrator, courier dispatcher, telemarketer, charity fundraiser, sheet music librarian, Medicaid claim sorter, check composition specialist, disability and workers’ compensation administrator and web designer.
In 2001, she quit her job as the Executive Assistant of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia to travel Canada by train, and then parts of the Northeastern and Southern United States. Her first book of poetry, The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005; Upper Rubber Boot, 2011), was written, in part, about those travels.
In 2004, she immigrated to the USA. She has lived in Kentucky and New Hampshire, and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Joanne Merriam’s poetry and fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines and journals, including The Antigonish Review, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Fiddlehead, The Furnace Review, Grain, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, The Mainichi Daily News, Per Contra, Riddle Fence, Room of One’s Own, Strange Horizons and Vallum Contemporary Poetry, as well as in the anthologies Ice: new writing on hockey, To Find Us: Words and Images of Halifax and The Allotment: New Lyric Poets.
Upper Rubber Boots published two anthologies both released in 2015, How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, and Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good, which she co-edited with H. L. Nelson.
Adele Gardner - "God's Cat" first appeared in Sybil's Garage No. 6, May 2009 (Senses Five Press, Ed. Matthew Kressel). Reprinted in The 2010 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2009, selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Ed. Jaime Lee Moyer, SFPA, 2010 (Short Poem category).
A Clarion West graduate and an active member of SFWA, Adele Gardner serves as literary executor for her father and mentor, Delbert R. Gardner. Adele's first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, appeared in 2011. With two poems winning third place in the Rhysling Awards, she’s had stories and poems in venues like Daily Science Fiction, Legends of the Pendragon, The Doom of Camelot, Strange Horizons, James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Mythic Delirium, NewMyths, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and more. Two stories and a poem earned honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Previously published as C. A. Gardner and Lyn C. A. Gardner, Adele lives under her middle name to honor her father and namesake, Del. Learn more at www.gardnercastle.com.
Greer Woodward - Far From Home originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of BEYOND CENTAURI.
Greer Woodward is a graduate of Clarion West, one of the founders of the New York City writing group Altered Fluid, and a member of the Writers Support Group at Tutu's House on Hawaii's Big Island. Her poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Illumen, Silver Blade, and Beyond Centauri. Her poem "Closure" was among the winners of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2012 Dwarf Stars Award, placing second. Her poem "Crater Conundrum Pizza" placed 3rd in the 2015 SFPA Poetry Contest. Pertinent to Animals and Creatures, her monologues and lyrics about a talkative budgerigar and his writer companion were featured in the Off-Broadway musical revue Pets!.
Geoffrey A. Landis - "Tree" appeared in Iron Angels, 2009.
Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist (with the N.A.S.A. John Glenn Research Center) and a science-fiction writer.
As a writer, he is the author of eighty published short stories and novelettes, and circa fifty poems. His novel Mars Crossing appeared from Tor Books, and a short story collection Impact Parameter (and other quantum realities) from Golden Gryphon.
In 1990 his story "Ripples in the Dirac Sea" won the Nebula award for best short story; in 1992 his short story "A Walk in the Sun" won the Hugo award. (Now available on audiotape), and in 2003 his short story "Falling Onto Mars" won the Hugo. His novel Mars Crossing won the Locus Award for best first novel of 2000. In 2014, he won the Robert A. Heinlein award "for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space." In poetry his poem "Search" (which appears in his collection Iron Angels), won the 2009 Rhysling Award for best long poem. His poem "Fireflies" won the SFPA's 2009 "Dwarf Stars" award for best short short poem.
David C. Kopaska-Merkel - "Orpheus in Ulthar, in Nehwon" was first published in his blog "Dreams and Nightmares".
David Kopaska-Merkel raises giraffopards for the Venusian Defense
Force, and publishes Dreams and Nightmares magazine, now in its 29th
year. He has served as president for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem (2006) for a
collaboration with Kendall Evans. Their latest collaboration, The Tin Men, was published by Sam's Dot in 2011.
Mary Turzillo - "Invisible Cat" appeared in The Ubercat and Dragon Owner's Manual, Sam's Dot, 2012.
After a career as a professor of English at Kent State University, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo is now a full-time writer. In 2000, her story "Mars Is No Place for Children" won SFWA's Nebula award for best novelette. Her novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl was serialized in Analog in July-Nov 2004. These two works have been selected as recreational reading on the International Space Station.
Mary's Pushcart-nominated collection of poetry, Your Cat and Other Space Aliens, appeared from VanZeno Press in 2007. Her collaborative book of poetry/art, Dragon Soup, written with Marge Simon, appears from VanZeno in 2008.
Mary's collection Lovers and Killers, in addition to winning the in Elgin Award 2013 for best full-length collection, was also on the Stoker ballot and contains "The Hidden," second place winner in the Dwarf Stars award for 2012, plus two Rhysling nominees "Tohuko Tsunami," "Galatea." Her collection Sweet Poison, co-written with Marge Simon won the 2015 Elgin Award.
Michael Bishop - "To a Chimp Held Captive for Purposes of Research" first appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Jan 1985. I said in the podcast that it had won the Rhysling Award for best poem, but that was incorrect. Bishop is indeed a Rhysling Award winning poet, but for another poem, "For the Lady of a Physicist" in 1979.
Michael Bishop was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Leotis ("Lee") Bishop (born 1920 in Frys Mill, Poinsett County, Arkansas) and Maxine ("Mac") Elaine Matison (born 1920 in Ashland, Nebraska). His parents met in the summer of 1942 when his father, a recent enlistee of the Air Force, was stationed in Lincoln. Bishop's childhood was the peripatetic life of a military brat. He went to kindergarten in Tokyo, Japan, and he spent his senior year of high school in Seville, Spain. His parents divorced in 1951, and Bishop spent summers wherever his father happened to be based.
Bishop entered the University of Georgia in 1963, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1967, before going on to complete a master's degree in English. In 1969, he married Jeri Ellis Whitaker of Columbus, Georgia. He taught English (including a course in science fiction) at the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs from 1968 to 1972. After his service career, he taught composition and English literature at the University of Georgia in Athens. A son, Jamie, was born in 1971, and a daughter, Stephanie was born in 1973. Bishop left teaching in 1974 to become a full-time writer. In those early years of freelance writing, he would occasionally work as a substitute teacher in the public schools and as a stringer for the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus.
He and Jeri, former counselor at Rosemont Elementary School, have two grandchildren, Annabel and Joel, by their daughter Stephanie. On April 16, 2007, their son Jamie, a Lecturer in German and I.T. Studies, was one of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. His novelette, "Vinegar Peace; or, The Wrong-Way, Used-Adult Orphanage" was written in reaction to that event and first appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I narrated it for StarShipSofa.com No. 82.
He has written and co-written numerous novels and is the recipient of many awards including the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. His first solo novel in 20 years is coming out in June 2016 by Fairwood Press under the Kudzu Planet Productions imprint. Joel-Brock the Brave and the Valorous Smalls, "A Novel for Young People, Whatever Their Age," will feature illustrations by Orion Zangara.
Scott Virtes - "Tasting the Pier"
Scott Virtes has had over 500 stories and poems published since 1986. His works have appeared in Nature, Analog, Space and Time, Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, and many more. He has five poetry chapbooks available including "Afterlife 9" and "Improbable Jane". You can watch him die in "Master and Commander", but he's okay now.
Rachel Swirsky - "Terrible Lizards" appeared in an online issue of Diet Soap (podcast) - now defunct.
Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and she graduated from Clarion West in 2005. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy and Sturgeon Awards. She’s twice won the Nebula Award: for her 2010 novella, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and her 2014 short story, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” Her poetry has appeared in Sybil's Garage, Mothering Magazine, and Ideomancer, among other places. Her first collection, THROUGH THE DROWSY DARK, a slim volume of poetry and fiction, is out from Aqueduct Press.
Find her on Twitter as rachelswirsky and support her on Patreon.
Bruce Boston - "Dragon People" first appeared in Raven Elektrick, 2006 and was subsequently collected with other "People" poems in Anthropomorphisms, Elektrik Milk Bath Press.
Bruce Boston (born 1943)is a speculative fiction writer and poet who was born in Chicago and grew up in Southern California. He received a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, 1965, and an M.A., 1967. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1961 to 2001, where he worked in a variety of occupations, including computer programmer, college professor (literature and creative writing, John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California, 1978–82), technical writer, book designer, gardener, movie projectionist, retail clerk, and furniture mover. He lives in Ocala, Florida, with his wife, writer-artist Marge Simon, whom he married in 2001.
Boston has won the Rhysling Award for speculative poetry a record seven times, and the Asimov's Readers' Award for poetry a record seven times. He has also received a Pushcart Prize for fiction, 1976, a record four Bram Stoker Awards in poetry for his collections, and the first Grandmaster Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1999. His collaborative poem with Robert Frazier, "Return to the Mutant Rain Forest," received first place in the 2006 Locus Online Poetry Poll for Best All-Time Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror Poem. He was named the Science Fiction Poetry Association's first Grand Master of Poetry in 1999. His collection Dark Roads was among the winners of the 2014 and 2015 Elgin Award, placing 3rd and 2nd respectively. His collection Notes from the Shadow City placed 2nd in the 2013 Elgin Award.
Boston's most recent poetry collection is Resonance Dark and Light from Eldritch Press, 2015.