Reading Report: Cracked Walnut’s “Stargazers,” June 22, 2018


Recently, SFPA members performed with local Minnesota poets at the Cracked Walnut reading series. They shared work addressing the theme of “Stargazers.” The reading was held at the East Side Freedom Library in Saint Paul on a Friday night.

The month’s featured poets were Josh Brown, Riawa Thomas-Smith, Mike Finley, Emylisa Warrick, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang and Bryan Thao Worra, president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. This reading was part of the SFPA’s ongoing celebrations of its 40th anniversary this year. SFPA thanks the League of Minnesota Poets for informing us of this opportunity to present.


Established in 2010, Cracked Walnut believes in the power of the creative spirit, and particularly the creative writing spirit of the Twin Cities.

Cracked Walnut organizes readings in traditional and non traditional  spaces in the Twin Cities Metro Area to procure a love for live literature, community and creativity. They also offer writing…

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Approaching the Elgin Voting


We’re now fully in Elgin voting season with the final votes due September 15th. This year we really want to see as many of our members as possible voting to help us pick the speculative poetry book and chapbook of the year, given that this is our 40th anniversary. What follows are some of my unofficial remarks, but I hope they’ll provide a helpful perspective and approach to what’s ahead.

Both new members and even longtime members of the SFPA might feel a little intimidated by the 51 nominees (21 in chapbooks, 30 in full-length collections) to read, even as we ought to be very excited and delighted there are so many to consider. It says wonderful things about our corner of the literary arts, instilling us with great optimism about its growth and future.

That being said, 51 books can be a lot! How does one responsibly judge and…

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New Flash Fiction on Paper Butterfly Flash Fiction

I’m pretty excited to have a piece of flash fiction featured in this month’s Paper Butterfly Flash FictionThe Zen Dragon.


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My Review of The Terraformers by Dan Hoy On Strange Horizons

I recently reviewed poetry chapbook The Terraformers by Dan Hoy with illustrations by Tristan McNatt for Strange Horizons magazine. Check it out here!


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2018 SFPA Elgin Awards

I am honored and humbled to announce the SFPA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association) has invited me back to chair the Elgin Awards again this year! Here’s the official announcement from the SPECPO Blog:

Nominations for the 2018 Elgin Awards are now open until May 15th, 2018. The SFPA is pleased to announce the return of Josh Brown as the Elgin Awards Chair.

SFPA President Bryan Thao Worra remarked: “Josh Brown was a talented and effective chair of the Elgin Awards in 2017, helping to organize one of our biggest nominating periods to date. We have no doubt that he will be just as capable as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association observes our 40th anniversary this year. We are grateful to have his services for this  important award for our community.”

The Elgin Awards, named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, are presented annually by SFPA for books published in the preceding two years in two categories, Chapbook and Book. This will be the 6th year the awards are presented.


Candidates for consideration in the chapbook category must contain 10-39 pages of poetry and while full-length book candidates  must contain 40 or more pages of poetry. E-books and self-published books are eligible, as well as print.

Books that won first–third place in the previous year’s Elgin Awards are ineligible. For a list of books that received first-third place in 2017, as well as prior year nominees, you can visit here. Books that were nominated in a previous year but are eligible for nomination this year must be re-nominated by an active member of the SFPA for consideration in 2018.

Single-author and collaborative books are eligible; anthologies are not. Books containing fiction as well as poetry are not eligible. Books must be in English, but translations are eligible. In the case of translations that also contain the poems in the original language, those pages will not count toward the total page count. Nominated books must be made available to the Chair upon request to remain eligible.


Only members can nominate books. They may not nominate their own books, but they may nominate multiple books, and the books need not be by members in order to be nominated or to win.

A list of nominated books has been posted on the SFPA website. The title, author, poetry page count, and press name and address (URL or postal) are required to nominate. If available, a link to a page where the book can be purchased or downloaded should also be provided.

In general, a substantive portion of the book’s poems, a clear theme of a speculative nature, or the author or publisher’s self-designation of the book as a work of speculative poetry will be necessary to fully qualify as an eligible candidate for the Elgin Award. The Elgin Award chair may ask nominators, publishers and authors for additional clarification in cases where questions arise.


Josh Brown, is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He has spent the past fifteen years in the publishing industry working for and with award-winning publishers and best-selling authors. An active member of SFPA, Josh Brown’s work can be found in numerous anthologies as well as in Star*Line, Scifaikuest, Mithila Review, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and more. His essay, “Poems and Songs of The Hobbit” was recently featured in Critical Insights: The Hobbit (Salem Press, 2016). He served as editor for issue 20 of Eye to the Telescope, the official online journal of the SFPA. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.

First established in 1978, the Science Fiction Poetry Association brings together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry, as well as poetry incorporating fantasy horror and other imaginative genres. An international organization, it publishes two journals, Star*Line and Eye to the Telescope, and oversee three major literary awards for poetry: The Rhyslings, the Dwarf Stars, and the Elgin Awards. The Science Fiction Poetry Association also conducts an annual science fiction poetry contest and other special events and gatherings. They also provide resources for emerging and established poets seeking professional publication and networking opportunities. Consider joining the association today!

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SFPA 40th Year Kickoff Reading

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, connecting an international membership of over 300 writers, readers and creators. Join us on January 10th at Mojo Coffee Gallery for our kickoff reading featuring local Minnesota poets and performers sharing their creative writing with the community.

Among those already confirmed presenting and performing will be the SFPA President, Bryan Thao Worra, Kyle Dekker, award-winning poet Ruth Berman of the Lady Poetesses from Hell, Josh Brown (that’s me!), Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, Tu the Judoka, Jake Skillings, Riawa Thomas-Smith, Hawona Sullivan Janzen, Rev. Matt’s Monster Science, and Phillip Andrew Bennett Low of Not So Silent Planet, the nation’s longest-running speculative literature slam.

Refreshments and additional entertainment provided! This performance is free and open to the public!

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The Spell

“The Spell” is a short comic I did with art by Doug Stambaugh. It was published in Mysterious Visions After Hours #3 (editor Tomm Gabbard) from Dimestore Productions in 2008.





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