Sunday, March 26, 2017

Press Release about Rhysling Anthology

I sent it to my local paper. Based on the template Robin Mayhall created.

Local Writer Edits Volume of Poems

Nominated for International Poetry Award

A local geologist and part-time science-fiction writer is the editor of this year’s Rhysling Anthology, the annual collection of poems nominated for a prize awarded by the Science Fiction Poetry Association to honor the best science fiction, fantasy or horror poems from the previous year.

Kopaska-Merkel has been writing science fiction and fantasy short stories and poems for more than four decades. He has edited and published the speculative poetry magazine Dreams and Nightmares since 1986. The Rhysling Award honors poetry in two categories: short poems of 1 to 49 lines and long poems of 50 lines or longer. Kopaska-Merkel won the long-poem award in 2006 for “The Tin Men,” a collaboration with Kendall Evans.

Only dues-paying members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association can nominate a poem for the Rhysling Award, which was established in 1978. All of the nominated poems are published in a printed anthology, which is distributed to the membership for use as a voting tool. SFPA members vote on their favorites in each category, and the winners are announced in the summer. The Rhysling Anthology also is sold by the SFPA to offset the cost of printing and to raise funds for association programs.

The winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and are considered in the speculative fiction field to be the equivalent in poetry of the awards given for “prose” work: achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature. Past winners have included such science fiction and fantasy notables as Ursula K. Le Guin, Bruce Boston, Joe Haldeman and Jane Yolen.

Kopaska-Merkel was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, but has lived in Tuscaloosa for almost 30 years. He works for the Geological Survey of Alabama. His publications include 25 books of poetry and short fiction, more than 100 scientific books and articles, and poems in such publications as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and Night Cry. He is past president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a former editor of its journal Star*line.

The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. In addition to the Rhysling Anthology, the SFPA publishes Star*Line, its quarterly official newsletter featuring market news, interviews, articles, reviews, member news and letters, association business, and poetry by members and nonmembers. For more information, visit the association’s website at

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