Happy International Speculative Poetry Day!

Today is, officially as of today, International Speculative Poetry Day. The Governor of Minnesota presented the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association with a proclamation recognizing the day. The SFPA is preparing to observe its 40th anniversary in 2018. The celebrations will include readings, presentations, workshops, publications and exhibitions across the US and abroad.

Now, you may ask, what is “speculative poetry?” Don’t feel bad. When I was told I was a “speculative poet” I had to Google what it meant. As a guess, I thought it might be a nice way of saying I was unclassifiable—a writer with no genre.

I didn’t know if that was an insult, a trendy new genre term or an actual thing. Thanks to Google, I was enlightened. Speculative poetry isn’t a mysterious, unnameable genre. Here’s what Google says:

Speculative poetry is a genre of poetry that focuses on fantastic, science fictional and mythological themes. It is also known as science fiction poetry or fantastic poetry. It is distinguished from other poetic genres by being categorized by its subject matter, rather than by the poetry’s form.

That was a derp moment for me. I didn’t really know there was any other kind of poetry. My favorite poet has always been Poe, for as long as I can remember, followed by Lewis Carroll and Ray Bradbury. In recent years I’ve fallen in love with Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, Linda Addison, John Reinhart and Bryan Thao Worra. I didn’t know it, but they are all speculative poets. It makes sense that I would write in that genre.

So, today I invite you to celebrate the first ever International Speculative Poetry Day. Perhaps, you, like me, are a huge fan of speculative poetry without even knowing it. That is why the SFPA has asked for this day to be designated—to promote awareness of the genre.

And now I feel like celebrating! Find out more about the official designation, including the proclamation, here.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith's work has been published in several print and online publications, including the “Horror Writers Association's Poetry Showcase” vols. 2-4, “Christmas Lites” vols. 1-6 and the “Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthology. She has nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, YAs and children. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.
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