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A collaborative blog by Locus editors, contributors, and other invited guests. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine or Locus Online.

(Earlier posts end here in April 2010)




Alvaro Zinos-Amaro


Alan Beatts
Terry Bisson
Marie Brennan
Karen Burnham
Siobhan Carroll
John Clute
F. Brett Cox
Ellen Datlow
Paul Di Filippo
Michael Dirda
Gardner Dozois
Andy Duncan
Stefan Dziemianowicz
Brian Evenson
Jeffrey Ford
Karen Joy Fowler
Kathleen Ann Goonan
Theodora Goss
Elizabeth Hand
Cecelia Holland
Rich Horton
Guy Gavriel Kay
James Patrick Kelly
Mark R. Kelly
Ellen Klages
Russell Letson
Karen Lord
Brit Mandelo
Adrienne Martini
Tim Pratt
Cat Rambo
Paul Graham Raven
Graham Sleight
Maureen Kincaid Speller
Peter Straub
Rachel Swirsky
Paul Witcover
Gary K. Wolfe
E. Lily Yu

‘Literary’ Poetry

Joanne Merriam is the editor of 7×20 and Upper Rubber Boot Books, and her poetry has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Scifaikuest and Strange Horizons as well as literary markets like Cordite, The Fiddlehead, Room of One’s Own and Stand.

I started Upper Rubber Boot Books to publish those voices working on the interstices of the genres currently known as “speculative” and “literary,” since I’m against a too-slavish devotion to genre distinctions. Some of the most interesting cross-genre work is being done in poetry, to almost no fanfare, and deserves more attention.

You can find wonderful speculative poetry in SF/F/H genre publications (The Magazine of Speculative Poetry and Strange Horizons publish particularly fine work), and more and more literary markets are publishing speculative poetry, sometimes explicitly (Rattle is currently calling for SF Poetry for a theme issue) but more usually only if not labeled as such (The Gettysburg Review’s submission guidelines are typical of the distinction being made, when they state, “We do not publish genre… but are certainly not opposed to considering work that self-consciously employs the tropes of formulaic writing for more sophisticated literary ends.”). When Tin House publishes a “science” issue with poems like Jared Harel’s “My Body Double Goes to the Home Depot,” the general literary community doesn’t see this as related in any way to genre writing, but nonetheless it clearly is, and the speculative writing community can benefit from the larger audience this brings.


Pingback from SF Tidbits for 6/4/12 – SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog
Time June 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

[…] Locus Roundtable on ‘Literary’ Poetry. […]

Comment from Marge Simon
Time June 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Interesting points, thanks Joanne!

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