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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Eye to the Telescope 40, Weird West

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Deadline: March 15, 2021

Weird Westerns, speculative poems set in western North America could feature a wide range of peoples, histories, mythologies, and landscapes. Weird Western poems could contain quite a list of characters: conquistadors, cowboys, horses, Native Americans, gunslingers, stagecoach bandits, school marms, soiled doves, vaqueros, and even mammoths and mammoth hunters. We are all extremely familiar with Western movie tropes and that is why it is so fun to throw in a werewolf, space ship, or time travel. My only qualification is that it contain either a character or setting which identifies it as a Western.

Please submit 1–3 poems in English (in body of e-mail, or attached as .doc, .docx, or .rtf). Translations from other languages are acceptable with the permission of the original poet (unless public domain).
Please send submissions to with the subject line “ETTT sub:” followed by the poet’s name.
Include a short bio.
Deadline: March 15. The issue will appear on April 15, 2021.

Payment and rights
Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded up to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.

Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original unpublished poems) are being sought.

Who can submit?

Anyone writing speculative poetry.

What is Speculative Poetry?

Speculative poetry is poetry which falls within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror, plus some related genres such as magic realism, metafiction, and fabulation. It is not easy to give precise definitions, partly because many of these genres are framed in term of fiction rather than poetry.

A good starting point is “About Science Fiction Poetry” by Suzette Haden Elgin, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Despite its title, this article is applicable all forms of speculative poetry.

Tim Jones, editor of Issue 2, had a go at defining science fiction poetry on his blog, in two parts (These blog posts date from 2009, and the Voyagersanthology has since been published. These posts do refer specifically to science fiction poetry, rather than the broader field of speculative poetry.):

What Is the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA)?

As the SFPA says on its website at, “The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. What is sf poetry? You know what they say about definitions—everybody has one. To be sure, it is poetry (we’ll leave that definition to you), but it’s poetry with some element of speculation—usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some folks include surrealism, some straight science.”

See the SFPA site for lots more information—and please consider joining.