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Help SFPA achieve non-profit status and expand its goals in promoting the speculative poetry community!

Eye to the Telescope 42, The Sea, will be edited by Akua Lezli Hope.

The sea, a place of myth and lore, is the medium from which we are said to have arisen to occupy the lesser dry slivers on this globe. The sea is the real undiscovered world, the substance of which most of earth’s surface is comprised, the mass that is rising to overtake us. It is the place where we jettison our trash. It is home for our aliens at home—the soft bodied minuscule and the massive, from mammals to arthropods, mollusks to cnidaria. A 15,000-year-old sponge dwells there, as do the immortal jellyfish and mammals with lifespans that are multiples of ours, bearing marks of our primitive weapons.

Whatever else dwells in the depths may or may not be earthborn and our own sea may be full of lessons about alien seas. I am intrigued by merfolk, sirens, aquatic changelings, selkie, the unexplored sentience of sea mammals and other forms; Yemayaah/Yemonja and Nommo origins; whale songs, dolphin telepathy and ray clicks; bioluminescence as communication. The mythic Kraken as gigantic squid or chimeric sea giant dispatched by Neptune (another god figure), also compels, as do the water-warping aliens we’ve met in undersea movies.

What lives in the ice-crusted ocean/s of Europa or the methane seas of Titan? Maybe (the/a) water is sentient–the “sea is a harsh mistress” may be more than metaphor. What do we not yet imagine nor dare to comprehend? I seek the speculative in any verse vessel form in which you wish to pour it. Please send only unpublished work. I eagerly await your creations.

Submission Guidelines


  • Use the form at to submit.
  • Please submit 1–3 poems in English (attached as .docx or .txt) and include a short bio. Translations from other languages are acceptable with the permission of the original poet (unless public domain).
  • Inquiries only to with “ETTT” in the subject line.
  • Deadline: September 15. The issue will appear on October 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 Voyagers anthology 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.

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Interested in editing an issue of Eye to the Telescope? See the Editors’ Guidelines for information and requirements.