Poetry Staff Changes at Abyss & Apex

Please join me in thanking Trent Walters for all his wonderful work as our poetry editor. He gave us time for an orderly transition when Real Life made his commitment to us untenable, and helped settle in the new poetry editor. During Trent’s tenure, in 2010,  Abyss & Apex published Howard V. Hendrix’s poem “Bumbershoot” – that’s a feather in his cap, as it went on to win the  Science Fiction Poetry Association’s (SFPA) 2010 Dwarf Stars Award. But now I  had to choose a new poetry editor.

Or should I say Poetry Editors? As the work load had grown to where more than one person would be required, I decided to fill multiple openings for poetry staff. There are now three poetry editors, plus one familiar face pitching in on top of his fiction duties. My selection process was mainly driven by my trying to find someone with similar tastes in genre poetry, and I was thrilled to have several highly qualified applicants.

Welcome, Assistant Poetry Editor John Mannone. With over 200 published poems under his belt, he  has worked as full time poetry editor for a literary fantasy magazine, Silver Blade, acted as a (guest) poetry editor for Inkspill Magazine, and for five years was a senior editor for Radio Astronomy, the Journal of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers – a technical publication that nevertheless featured a fusion of art and science. Add his three nominations for the 2009 and 2010  Pushcart Prize in and his 2010 nomination for a Rhysling Award and you can see why I wanted him on staff. John is a science fiction guy–a semi-retired professor of physics.

Balancing that, our other new Assistant Poetry Editor is equally talented in science fiction poetry, but comes at things from a the viewpoint of more of a fantasist. F.J. Bergman is not only an A&A published poet, but she has won a number of poetry awards, including  a 2008 Rhysling (Short Poem category).  Three of her genre poetry chapbooks have been published by independent presses; a fourth, Out of the Black Forest, is forthcoming from Centennial Press. Jeannie is the long-term poetry editor for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and does proofreading for the Gila Queen newsletter, Star*Line, and the Rhysling anthology.

Assistant Fiction Editor Michael G. Holmes has a love of genre poetry and graciously asked to help with poetry slush as well, for which I and the entire A&A family are grateful. His taste in science fiction and fantasy poetry is very similar to mine, but he is so valuable to us here at A&A that I would have been loath to see him switch departments, so this arrangement suits us both well.

But . . .we have a winner. Our new Poetry Editor is Stephen M. Wilson. His sample poetry selections, and the reasons for those selections, were a mirror-image of my vision for the poetry in  Abyss & Apex. He is a long time member of  the SFPA and with current SFPA President Deborah P Kolodji, for three years Stephen was co-editor of the SFPA’s Dwarf Stars Award anthology . He was also Poetry Editor for Doorways Magazine ( before it closed in 2009). In addition, Stephen runs the speculative poetry Twitter zine microcosms (@microcosms) and is editor of his local community college’s literary journal, Artifact.

He has published original poetry from authors like Jane Yolen, Ursula K. LeGuin, Bruce Boston – and this edition’s poetry selections are nothing short of wonderful.

If you only read Abyss & Apex for the fiction, may I humbly recommend that you do NOT skip the poetry. Poems published in Abyss & Apex consistently pull top honors from SFPA. And Stephen and his new editorial staff seem bound and determined to keep up that tradition.

Wendy S. Delmater, Editor

July 1, 2011


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