November-December summary

I sold a magic realist short story, “Seven Losses of Na Re,” to Daily Science Fiction – which means that I now qualify for SFWA.

In poetry news, my mythic-folkloric poem “Kytgy and Kunlelo” came out at Scheherezade’s Bequest, and the whimsical “The Tenured faculty meets to discuss the Moon’s campus visit” came out at Mythic Delirium 25;  I am now working on poetry/art for my Magick4Terri auction.

Held Close in Syllables of Light: the official announcement.

and has a ship on the cover!


Held Close in Syllables of Light,”  my clockpunk novelette set in Birdverse, just went live at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It features three queer characters, secondary world Jews, automata, magic, and a curious mechanical box.  It is a part of my novel in progress, The Earthkeepers.

Incoherent babblings about the novelette are at my livejournal blog.

Publishing news and appearances

My small poem “The Journeymaker in Kestai,” featuring two Cycle characters, has been accepted for publication at Mythic Delirium for the Spring 2012 issue. Mike Allen announced the ToC yesterday; my piece is in a very good company.

Joshua Gage has written to accept “Walrus,” the only short poem I’ve written and published in 2010, for the upcoming Dwarf Stars anthology. “Walrus” was published as a twitter poem, so I am especially happy that it will appear in print – in its quirky, walrusy form!

Not One of Us 46

Meanwhile, my copy of Not One of Us 46 arrived, featuring my short story “Giant.” I’ll put the story up next year as a sample, for the anniversary of the Giant‘s death. Meanwhile, the issue looks terrific, with wonderful work by Patricia Russo, Sonya Taaffe, Mike Allen, Jeannelle Ferreira, and others.


I will be talking about feminist speculative poetry on #feministsf twitter chat on October 23rd; for times and further details, please see this Feminist SF wiki page.

Finally, a face-to-face appearance! I am scheduled to attend the World Fantasy convention, where I will be hosting an unaffiliated open-mic speculative poetry reading (everyone welcome). I will post further details when I have them!



Table of Contents for the Moment of Change

I’m very proud of this. Putting this book together has been quite a journey. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love these poems.  You can get a glimpse from the ToC as to how diverse the contents/contributors are, but you cannot truly see it just from the ToC, but trust me:  this is both tremendous and diverse.

And I couldn’t have done this alone. Thank you so much to everyone who gave advice and held my hand through this process  (I’m looking at you, Team Stone Telling!). Special thanks to Sonya Taaffe for suggesting poems, and Shweta Narayan, Jennifer Smith, and Sharon Mock for help w. ordering the ToC. And of course, many thanks to the contributors.

Congratulations to everyone!

People who want to know about preordering: not yet, but I will let you know as soon as I can.

The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry

Rose Lemberg. Introduction.


Ursula K. Le Guin, Werewomen
Nicole Kornher-Stace, Harvest Season
Eliza Victoria, Prayer
Shweta Narayan, Cave-smell
Theodora Goss, The Witch
Amal El-Mohtar, On the Division of Labour
J.C. Runolfson, The Birth of Science Fiction
Kristine Ong Muslim, Resurrection of a Pin Doll
Lawrence Schimel, Kristallnacht
Cassandra Phillips-Sears, The Last Yangtze River Dolphin
Peg Duthie, The Stepsister
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl with Two Skins
Theodora Goss, Binnorie
Nandini Dhar, Learning to Locate Colors in Grey: Kiran Talks About Her Brothers
Rachel Manija Brown, River of Silk
JoSelle Vanderhooft, The King’s Daughters
Lisa Bradley, The Haunted Girl
Mary Alexandra Agner, Tertiary
Sara Amis, Owling
Athena Andreadis, Spacetime Geodesics
Lisa Bradley, In Defiance Of Sleek-Armed androids
Sofía Rhei, Cinderella
Alex Dally MacFarlane, Beautifully Mutilated, Instantly Antiquated
Shweta Narayan, Epiphyte
Elizabeth R. McClellan, Down Cycles
H.E.L Gurney, She Was
Kelly Pflug-Back, My Bones’ Cracked Abacus
Kat Dixon, Nucleometry
N. A’Yara Stein, It’s All In The Translation
Sally Rosen Kindred, Sabrina, Borne
Adrienne J. Odasso, The Hyacinth Girl
Delia Sherman, Snow White to the Prince
Phyllis Gotlieb, The Robot’s Daughter
Vandana Singh, Syllables of Old Lore
Greer Gilman, She Undoes
Emily Jiang, Self-Portrait
Ki Russel, The Antlered Woman Responds
Catherynne M. Valente, The Oracle at Miami
Athena Andreadis, Night Patrol
Koel Mukherjee, Sita Reflects
Lorraine Schoen, Hypatia/Divided
Sharon Mock, Machine Dancer
C.W. Johnson, Towards a Feminist Algebra
Jo Walton, Blood Poem IV
Meena Kandasamy, Six Hours of Chastity
Samantha Henderson, Berry Cobbler
Sofía Rhei, Bluebeard Possibilities
Sheree Renee Thomas, Old Scratch poem featuring River
Elizabeth R. McClellan, The Sea Witch Talks Show Business
Ranjani Murali, Chants for Type: Skull-Cap Donner at Center-One Mall
Sonya Taaffe, Madonna of the Cave
Jeannelle Ferreira, Anniversaries
Rebecca Korvo, Handwork
Patricia Monaghan, Journey To The Mountains Of The Hag
Ari Berk, Pazerik Burial on the Ukok Plateau
Neile Graham, Dsonoqua Daughters
Sonya Taaffe, Matlacihuatl’s Gift
Ellen Wehle, Once I No Longer Lived Here
Yoon Ha Lee, Art Lessons
JT Stewart, Say My Name
Amal El-Mohtar, Pieces
Sofia Samatar, The Year of Disasters
C. S. E. Cooney, The Last Crone on the Moon
Minal Hajratwala, Archaeology of the Present
Jennifer McGowan, Mara Speaks
JT Stewart, Ceremony
April Grant, Trenchcoat
Tara Barnett, Star Reservation
Mary Alexandra Agner, Old Enough
Nisi Shawl, Transbluency: An Antiprojection Chant


Stone Telling 5: Mythic is here!

the Mythic issue of Stone Telling is live!


And it is simply terrific.  Hope you enjoy it too!

“In the Third Cycle” published

Today, Strange Horizons published my epic poem In the Third Cycle. This is the poem I wrote during the very strange “Ten Days in December,” that resulted in two queer epic fantasy pieces (the other piece is my forthcoming novelette, Held Close in Syllables of Light.)

In many ways, everything creative I’m doing this year flows from the Ten Days in December.

In the Third Cycle is an epic poem about three characters, a mortal man and the two powers he is involved with. It’s not their whole story. The Journeymaker in particular is a central figure in my private mythologies; she’s been there always, though under different names – and sometimes in different worlds. I haven’t yet written any prose about these characters – it feels too close to home.

I’m grateful to Shweta Narayan and Jenn Smith, who read the poem as it emerged, and Peer Dudda and Sam Henderson, who critiqued it when it was finished. I am also grateful to the Rannu fund folks, who thought this poem worthy of the first place in the Poetry Category.

And a bonus – an mp3 recording of me reading the whole thing. The reading is quite rough and lasts 10 minutes, so not for the faint of heart (but yes, you can pause it if you want!)

In the Third Cycle, by Rose Lemberg

If you feel so inclined, I would appreciate comments (on my blog or at the Strange Horizons website).

Dreams come true (a note from Ursula)

Where did we leave off? After much agonizing, I inscribed the artist’s book of Stone Telling 1 and tenderly sent it off to Ursula in Oregon.

On August 28, an email arrived in my mailbox.

Ever since I’ve read Rocannon’s World and Left Hand of Darkness at age 13 (in Russian translation, back in the Soviet Union), it’s been my dream to correspond with Le Guin. Her work means more to me than I can explain. Her work saved my life. It taught me that my strange culture-diverse worlds, the odd stories that sometimes spilled out of me and which my classmates ridiculed, my secrets and oppressions, my jumbled identities, it was all fine, because here she was, writing in my language, writing in a voice I didn’t have, writing about the true things inside me. I would compose long letters to her, then painstakingly translate them with the help of the old Müller’s dictionary. It ended there.

And now I’m in my thirties and edit Stone Telling, a poetry magazine named after a character in Ursula’s book Always Coming Home. To correspond with Ursula (mainly through her agent) in the context of Stone Telling is a great gift to me.

So, on August 28th, this email arrived. Directly from her.

It said,

Dear Rose,
I sent a proper thank you for the beautiful first issue, but it was returned in the mail — I am sorry as I wanted to thank you “by hand” for such lovely handiwork.

I was devastated. Couldn’t sleep. Talked to the post office, found out my mailman had been sick that week, and the subs made many mistakes. Of course, I begged her to resend it.

Today… today it arrived.

A handwritten note from Ursula K. Le Guin. Un the background: the two envelopes.

And the card itself shows two California quail by a Northwestern artist L.R. Messick, which is, of course, a reference to the Quail Song, the poem that opens Always Coming Home:

Two California Quail

in the fields by the river
from the meadows by the river
from the fields by the river
in the meadows by the river
two quail run

It is a beloved poem that is very close to my heart, and my heart is so full right now.

Beautiful Books from Papaveria Press

This post is about two small gods: Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month, and a limited edition hardcover of Stone Telling 1 for Ursula Le Guin.

Stone Telling 1 and the Honey Month

Two books created by Erzebet YellowBoy of Papaveria Press

1. Amal el-Mohtar’s The Honey Month began as an  experiment to taste and write about 28 different honeys during the month of February 2010.  The entries first appeared in Amal’s blog, and then as a book from Papaveria Press:

Each day she uncapped a vial of honey, letting the brew inspire the words that became this book. Amal offers us much more than poetry and prose, however. Her words wrap around us like spiderwebs, gently pulling us into the web she weaves, where honey girls tempt and tease us, where things lost return and sorrow paints the leaves.

Others wrote beautifully about the book; my favorite review/prose poem is probably Dan Campbell. (Some other noteworthy reviews were written by  C.S.E. Cooney at the Interstitial Arts Foundation; Alexa Seidel at Fantastique Unfettered, and  Midori Snyder).

When the 2011 Rhysling award results were updated earlier this month,  Amal’s “Peach-Creamed Honey” took first place in the Short Poem category. There is no way right now to honor speculative poetry chapbooks, but Amal’s Rhysling win  underscores what many of us feel:  the Honey Month  was one of the  most significant speculative poetry events of 2010.

I won a copy of the Honey Month in the Goblin Fruit prize draw, and received it from Amal in the mail. Here’s the dedication page:

"May we always be makers and sharers and drinkers of mead" (amen)

The second is an artist’s book – an extremely limited edition (of one) of the inaugural issue of Stone Telling, created by Erzebet. It goes off to Ursula Le Guin as soon as I can muster the courage to profane the small god with my lowly scribbles write a dedication.

without a dedication for now

“A Mother Goes Between” is up

My story “A Mother Goes Between” is up at the new, online incarnation of Jabberwocky (Jabberwocky 6). It is a difficult and triggery story, but one I love very much, and I’m happy that Erzebet and Sean gave it a home. I’d love to hear what you think.


New website

I’ve redesigned! I liked the old yellow version, but it was time to upgrade.

The new official (gasp) blog/site runs on WordPress, and cross-posts entries to my Livejournal. I am still fiddling with the template, but am pretty happy with it for now. In the future, I am planning a custom logo graphic (custom by me, unless someone volunteers to make me one),  more samples in the Samples folder, and perhaps a different navigation bar. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


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R.B. 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, Crawford, and other awards.

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