At the end of last year, I approached a few editors of speculative poetry to recommend five “Best of…” poems of 2012. I asked that the five recommended poems would be written, edited and published by other people, rather than the editors themselves.
Today’s editor is Romie Stott, one of the three editors in the Strange Horizons poetry team.
Sarcophagus (NE Taylor, inkscrawl) – accomplishes in 2 lines what it takes other poems 40 lines to not accomplish.
The Hunchback’s Mother (Sofia Samatar, inkscrawl) – Unsanitized. Sometimes making things halfway better makes them worse.
For A Kelpie (Ariel Johnson, Goblin Fruit) – The perfect distillation of “be careful what you wish for,” with a killer deadpan.
And now unto my calling… (Brendan Constantine, Abyss & Apex) – A compassionate poem that cuts to the heart of why we want magic, or want science to be magical.
Report From the Provinces (Wayne Miller, Boulevard – the link is to a reprint) – great blend of high and low technology, old and new civilizations; truly feels like an outpost.
If anybody wants to do further reading, Romie’s longlist (which is at least 50 poems) is here.