F. J. Bergmann
Jeannie Bergmann, a poet, science-fiction writer, artist, and web designer, maintains madpoetry.org, a public-service poetry site for Madison, WI. Journals in which her poems appear include Analog, Asimov’s Science Fiction, North American Review, Riddled with Arrows, Right Hand Pointing, Silver Blade, and Spectral Realms.
She has won the 2017 Gold Line Press poetry chapbook contest, the 2015 Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award for the Long Poem, the WFOP 65th Anniversary Poetry Contest, the 2013 SFPA Elgin Chapbook Award, the 2012 Rannu Fund for Speculative Literature Award for Poetry, Heartland Review’s 2011 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize, both the Theme and Poet’s Choice divisions of the 2010 WFOP Triad competition, received an International Publication Prize in the 2010 Atlanta Review contest, won the 2009 Tapestry of Bronze contest, and won the 2008 SFPA Rhysling Award for the Short Poem. She is the poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, the managing editor of MadHat Press, and the former editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. She has judged poetry contests and is available for readings and workshops.
A Catalogue of the Further Suns: Précis of the Reports Compiled by the Preliminary Survey Expeditions (Gold Line Press, 2017) dystopian first-contact science-fiction poems. Winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Award - $10.00 (PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Out of the Black Forest (Centennial Press, 2012) fairy-tale poem chapbook, illustrated by Kelli Hoppmann - $5.00 color .pdf (PayPal to email@example.com)
“Ostensible” (Architrave Press, 2012) letterpress broadside - $3.50
“Yellow Woods” (2010) letterpress broadside - $5.00
Constellation of the Dragonfly (Plan B Press, 2008) chapbook - $13.00
Aqua Regia (Parallel Press, 2007) chapbook - $10.00
Steaming A Head, 2005, chapbook of poems published in literary journals - $6.00
Sauce Robert (Pavement Saw Press, 2003) co-winner of chapbook contest - $6.00
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My neighbor said he thought he’d build a wall; wanted to know if I’d go halves on it. I asked him what he was going to make it out of and he said “Words,” and I said I’d help him out as much as I could. I asked him how high he was going to make it and he said “High.”
He started out with long, Latinate words, at least five syllables, carefully staggering the joints, but he ran out of his own almost right away, so I had to give up a lot of mine. He tried to maintain a structured form, but soon it degenerated into a random jumble, mostly nouns and verbs—he was saving the adjectives to decorate it when it was finished, he said, stacking them neatly against the porch. The articles and conjunctions kept falling out and accumulated in forlorn drifts at its base.
He worked on it every evening, after coming home from his regular job, until night fell, late into the autumn. Joggers would occasionally stop to offer advice and put in a word or two. It spread like a blackthorn hedge above its massive foundation, tangling tightly as the barbed serifs hooked together. The wind whistled through the small openings of the a’s and e’s as the larger counters of the o’s, b’s, d’s, p’s, and q’s resonated at a lower pitch. He placed the sharpest words along the top of the wall. “Expect trouble,” he said.
During the winter, the ascenders and descenders began to distort and twine around letters in adjoining words. Just before the solstice, I hung the most ornate plural nouns and third-person-singular verbs I could find on the north side of the wall. Dangling from each terminal s, they swung like bells, chiming as the snows fell. That spring, suffixes sprouted from the side that faced the sun.
Winner of 2004 Pauline Ellis Prose Poetry Prize
published in Wisconsin Academy Review Vol. 50 #4
First the atlas began to fret, and wheedled in a low voice. Then one
of the Lonely Planet books egged on the National Geographics
until they ruffled their pages in hysteria and the Michelin Guides
started slapping their covers rhythmically against the bookends.
When the Club Med brochures folded themselves into airfoils
and began dive-bombing us, we made a break for the carport,
dragging our hastily-packed luggage behind us, a litter
of outdated and dilapidated maps snapping at our heels.
We found that all roads lead to more roads, with similar
billboards. We drive all day long. Each evening
we arrive at a different city before its gates close
and rent a room filled with clear water.
The video camera runs all night, and prepares
a nutritious breakfast. If a museum opens early,
we spend the morning gliding from room
to room, leaving nothing as we found it.
Even the guards have uniforms of a different hue
when we are finished with them, and all the visitors
have come to believe that Surrealism is the manifesto
of a concealed desire for economic instability and wear
faint greenish halos which they will never see.
Winner of 2003 Mary Roberts Rinehart National Poetry Award
published on Blue Fifth Review Summer 2003