Short story sale

“Theories of Pain,” a flash story about a man who experienced pain as fruit, will appear in Daily Science Fiction. Yay!

Interview at Strange Horizons, and a translation

An interview with me appeared today at Strange Horizons. It is entitled Noticing Language, and it is about language, linguistics, my novel, poetry, emerging poets, and various other things.

A few comments I wanted to add to the interview:

Rose Lemberg lived in Ukraine, subarctic Russia, and Israel before relocating to Berkeley for her Ph.D. She is now living and teaching in the Midwest, where she finally became an immigrant in 2010. She is relieved to be a resident, rather than a nonresident, alien.

I wrote this bio before the events at Boston, and I have since had the (dis)pleasure to travel by plane for a conference. I had the urge to change the bio after that experience, but I left it in. It is important for me to talk about this.

I recently had a chance to ask my students whether they view language as a “primary component of identity,” a phrase we’ve found in an article. Many said no.

To follow up, I asked my students what they would consider a primary component of identity. Many immediately said “gender.” I then asked how often they reflected on their gender. The discussion further developed along these lines; I thought it might be worth discussing/mentioning here.

I also note that answers would vary depending on the context. Students at my university are different demographically from the ones I had at Berkeley.

Yet, language is central to identity. For many monolinguals, especially those who speak the standard vernaculars, language is not something one notices in daily life

The issue of standard vernaculars is very interesting; do you want to discuss diglossic situations and language hegemony, or should we wait until Readercon?

Speaking about languages and translations, Seven Losses of Na Re has been translated into Spanish! This is the first time my story is translated – very exciting. Thank you, Marcheto!

Essay reprint, and poetry nominations

My essay  “Feminist SF/F: on Feminist Characters” was selected to be included in Speculative Fiction 2012: The Year’s Best Online Reviews & Commentary. I have not sent it to them, so this was a surprise.

My long mythic poem “Between the Mountain and the Moon” is a Rhysling Award nominee.

Finally, “Between the Mountain and the Moon” won the Strange Horizons Readers’ poll in the poetry category. In a somewhat bewildering turn of events, my pooem “The Three Immigrations” placed second.

MANY THANKS to Sonya Taaffe, who plucked these poems from slush!

One of my very favorite stories, Alex Dally MacFarlane’s “Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints,” placed third in the fiction category. Congratulations also to the ever-wonderful Michele Bannister, Gwynne Garfinkle, Sofia Samatar, and Liz Bourke for placing/winning in various categories.

New Poetry, Readercon, Nebula

The Winter Goblin Fruit is up, with glorious illustrations, beautiful work by Mat Joiner, Shweta Narayan, Alicia Cole, Ada Hoffmann, Sally Rosen Kindred, and others! I have two poems in this issue, both fragments from the Crow Epic – “The Journeymaker, Climbing” and “The Journeymaker to Keddar.”  The latter is a love poem (of sorts), for those to whom these things are important today.

Another shiny I failed to mention is the new issue of Through the Gate. It only contains three poems. I admire Mitchell’s minimalism – he is unafraid to publish an issue of three poems because they go perfectly together, like an intricately crafted puzzle box. His epigraph is appropriate: “Two pieces of coin in one bag make more noise than a hundred.” This issue contains work by Bogi Takács, myself, and Sonya Taaffe.

A special interest panel I proposed, “Sociolionguistics and SFF,” has been accepted for Readercon.

I made my Nebula nominations last night. I have not done an eligibility post this year, but my short story “Seven Losses of Na Re” is eligible this year, and some folks have recommended it. This is the story that will be reprinted in the Vandermeers’ feminist anthology.

 

2012 Poetry recommendations by the community, and a roundup

Dear readers: you are now invited to comment and mention one or two poems you especially liked in 2012. If you have more than two pieces to recommend, that’s great – please make a post on your blog and link back here. Thank you for participating!

 

Here is the full list of editors who participated in the series, with links to their posts:

Amal El-Mohtar

Romie Stott 

Mitchell Hart

Samantha Henderson

Rose Lemberg

Adrienne J. Odasso

Alexa Seidel

Erzebet YellowBoy

2012 Poetry Recommendations by Editors: Rose Lemberg

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. The various selections so far can be found at the poetry recommendations by editors tag.

Thank you very much to the editors who participated! We round out these series with my own recommendations.

 

Rose’s Recommendations

In no particular order,

I Understand Video Games Aren’t Real,” By Leslie Anderson (Strange Horizons, October 2012).
This poem speaks to our emotional connections to the digital realities we often inhabit. It’s simple and poignant, and it touched me.

 

The Pilgrimage of Mouths” by Kristiana Rae Colón, in PANK Magazine (January 2012).
I am partial to work about voice, and this is the kind of exuberant, surrealistic text that speaks to me on a visceral level, that slides off like music, almost beyond reach until it is played again and again.

a woman wearing green mascara and rabbit

fur, resisting nothing, delivering two naked bodies
into the other’s mouth, remember my mouth

was full of bullets I let dribble to my living
room hardwood one at a time, blackbirds falling
from the aviary of my jaws.

I love it.

 

On the question of Jonah, whales, and the weight of a woman” by by Cassie Premo Steele (Goblin Fruit, Summer 2012)

A triumphant, joyful fat acceptance poem. I want/need more of these.

 

The First Flute, Played in Enceladus’s Light: Five Voices,” by Michele Bannister (Jabberwocky 10).
I also have a weakness for work with multiple voices, and this one is my favorite this year.

 

A Burnt Lyric” by Sofia Samatar (Goblin Fruit, Summer 2012).

A critique of traditional scholarship, reverberations of women’s lives between the lines… obviously I fell in love with it upon first reading, and have not fallen out of love even after many rereadings.

You’ll prove whole cities from a broken brooch, and blur
what the lost dead know.

Sofia talks more about the poetic tradition with which A Burnt Lyric is in dialogue, at her blog: Obsessed with Kharja controversy .

2012 Poetry Recommendations by Editors – Erzebet YellowBoy

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. The various selections so far can be found at the poetry recommendations by editors tag.

Today’s selections have been contributed by Erzebet YellowBoy of Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and Papaveria Press.

 

Erzebet’s Recommendations:

Carrington’s Ferry” by Mike Allen (Strange Horizons, January 2012)

An evocative tribute to author and artist Leonora Carrington. This poem makes you feel like you are inside one of her paintings.

 

Nuclear Winter” by Ash Krafton (Electric Velocipede 25)

A short, dystopian poem that fuses longing and love. I chose it for the simplicity of its sentiment.

 

Cardiomythology” by Virginia M. Mohlere (Goblin Fruit, Autumn 2012)

The best speculative poems combine the mythic and the personal. Virginia’s eulogy to the heart does just that.

 

“Under the Asphodel” by Erik Amundsen (Mythic Delirium 26)

I have always loved the way Eric uses words. Here he lures us down beneath where the flowers grow.

 

The Last Crone on the Moon” by C.S.E. Cooney (Goblin Fruit, Winter 2012)

This is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read. There should always be a crone where children are.

2012 Poetry Recommendations by Editors – Mitchell Hart

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. The various selections so far can be found at the poetry recommendations by editors tag. At the end of the series (in a few days) I will compile a master list!

Today’s editor is Mitchell Hart, the founder of inkscrawl, which he recently guest-edited. Mitchell is now hard at work editing a new magazine, Through the Gate.

 

Mitchell’s recommendations:

Tables Turned” by Adrienne J. Odasso (Stone Telling 8)

A beautiful poem with wording and imagery that is both delicate and terrifying.

 

A body that is bold to come” by Rose Lemberg (Goblin Fruit, Autumn 2012)

Well, it’s by Rose (and foxes are involved) – need more be said?

 

Torah and Secular Learning” by Bogi Takács (Strange Horizons, October 22)

This poem is indescribable – just go read it.

 

Warning Signs” by J.C. Runolfson (Jabberwocky 11)

Witty and rather tongue-in-cheek, yet delightfully eerie.

 

“Carve Me” by Alex Dally Macfarlane (Mythic Delirium 27)

A poignant, defiant love poem.

 

2012 Poetry Recommendations by Editors: Romie Stott

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.

 

Romie’s recommendations:

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.

Poetry Recommendations by Editors – Samantha Henderson

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 list has been contributed by Samantha Henderson, a speculative poet and writer who edits inkscrawl.

Samantha’s notes and recommendations:

These can’t be “best of,” because my reading 2012 didn’t even approach comprehensive; like many busy eaters of poems, I take at the table what I can and remember the particularly tasty. Looking over the list it strikes me that all these poems had an urgency of voice, a compelling need to tell something that attracted me.

In no particular order:

Thousands of Years Ago, I Made This String Skirt,” by Alex Dally MacFarlane (Stone Telling 8)

The voice-craft of this poem is stunning: the long-dead narrator, an archeological find, is made alive by the urgency of what she can say – at once angry, joyous, exultant, incredulous – if the reader listens instead of looks with a scholar’s limited eye. My bones remember me, she concludes, less defiant than simply aware that no matter the context in which she’s perceived, she simply is.

Skin Walker,” by Amanda Reck (Goblin Fruit, Spring 2012)

In Reck’s poem a scar – the wear and tear, but also the mapping of the body – becomes a path to the primal: a way of understanding the narrator as a beast (shapeshifter, werewolf, skin walker). Part of that understanding is, I feel, that the beast is a mask and a map in itself, that both disguises and points to the narrator’s willingness to devour experience:

Catch the moon,
if you can. I’ll snatch it back,
clad in this troll’s skin
and eat it like a hot, white heart.

Memphis Street Railway Co. v. Stratton: 1915,” by Elizabeth McClellan (New Myths, June 2012)

This poem spins an eldritch, dark tale from the bare bones of a hundred-year-old lawsuit:

There is only so long you can stare into a hole
in a darkening street before the mind wanders
to someplace abysmal

“A Tanaga,” by David Edwards (Astropoetica, Summer 2012)

I like good science and science fiction poetry; it’s sometimes hard to find (Sofia Samatar’s 2011 poem “Girl Hours” is wonderful example of crunchy science-y goodness ). It’s often especially hard in find in short form; too often I’m reminded of what Catherynne Valente once called “the Future/I mean/wow” poems. I liked this Tanaga’s clever focus on a simple but not intuitive scientific fact – the moon is always full – especially coupled with the accompanying photo of full, half, and crescent moons.

bell, book, candle,” by Gwynne Garfinkle (Strange Horizons, March 2012)

I like Garfinkle’s use of popular culture and wry tone in this melancholic take on making the choice to lose one’s magic (you even lose your cat), perhaps because it reminds me of watching Bewitched and wondering why Samantha would ever forgo her magic for mortal love.

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About

Rose Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Tiptree, Elgin, Rhysling, and Crawford awards.

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