Have I told you about speculative poetry?
I DIDN’T KNOW IT EXISTED EITHER!
How long has this been a thing? Probably since before I was born, but one would think I would have stumbled upon such a thing by now. Isn’t poetry supposed to be about love and depression and meadows and industrialization? That’s what they told me in school. I’m pretty sure that the words “science fiction” and “poetry” could not legally be uttered in the same sentence during my undergraduate program. That’s probably a part of the white, male, elitist MFA program problem that I see a lot of my peers mentioning.
Anyway, there was no way in hell that I had written a poem that was intentionally fictional nor fantastical in recent years. But I remember, I have proof, that when I first started writing poems in middle school, I didn’t know any such subject constraints. When I was twelve years old, I wrote all kinds of poetry, including speculative. I wrote about the night and vampires and werewolves. I miss that confidence of youth. You could break all the rules because you didn’t even know the rules (however arbitrary) existed.
I don’t remember where I first heard about genre poetry, but it was only a few months ago. I used my friend Google and discovered that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association exists, was founded in 1978, and is legitimate. My inner child was so excited.
Ok, let’s be honest. My everything was excited.
My favorite thing to write about is the supernatural and now I have an new form to practice with. My dreamy sixth grade head is satisfied.
I have begun to read published and award-receiving examples of the genre, as well as dabbling in my own versions. I even spied a couple markets I would be interested in submitting to, but that’s putting the cart before the horse. Now if I can just get over the crippling anxiety that my poems are too obvious…
Did you know about science fiction and fantasy poetry? Do you enjoy writing it? I’d love to see your favorite examples!