[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Carolyn Clink

[Carolyn Clink with Aurora Award]

Carolyn is an accomplished award-winning poet who lives in Mississauga (just west of Toronto) with her husband, the science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer. She has twice won Canada's Aurora Award (Canada's top honor in science fiction and fantasy), and she's been published in the major American genre magazines Analog and Weird Tales. Carolyn is is co-editor of poetry for Amazing Stories magazine and she's been poet guest of honor at seven science-fiction conventions.

Carolyn Joan Clink was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She lived in Ralston, Alberta, until she was five. From 1964 to 1971, she lived in West Hartford, Connecticut, then settled with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

Carolyn and Rob met October 17, 1975, in their high-school science-fiction club, NASFA (of which Rob was co-founder), and were married on December 22, 1984, in a small ceremony at Carolyn's parents' house. Carolyn is the oldest of five children; her brother David Livingstone Clink is also a widely published poet.

Carolyn has twice won the Aurora Award in the Best Poem/Song category. Her first win, in 2011, was for her poem "The ABCs of the End of the World," first published in the anthology A Verdant Green; that was the first Aurora Award to be presented in this new category, and Carolyn was thrilled to be the inaugural winner.

Carolyn's second Aurora Award was won in 2022 for her poem "Cat People Café" from the October 2021 issue of the magazine Polar Starlight.

[Cover Art] Carolyn has had two poems published in Analog, the world's number-one bestselling English-language science-fiction magazine (July 1996 and October 1997; the cover of the latter issue is shown at left).

She has also had poetry in all five volumes of Canada's acclaimed horror anthology series Northern Frights; in the Canadian science-fiction anthologies Tesseracts 4, Tesseracts 7, Tesseracts 16; in the anthology of environmental poetry A Verdant Green; in the magazines Weird Tales, Chiaroscuro, Tales of the Unanticipated, Space and Time, Star*Line, and Gaslight; and in the Canadian SF magazines TransVersions, On Spec, and Polar Starlight.

Carolyn's poem "10 things to know about staplers" (Star*Line, January/March 2011) was reprinted in 2012 in both Imaginarium: the Best Canadian Speculative Writing and Dwarf Stars 2012: The Best Speculative Poems of Ten Lines or Fewer From 2011, and her poem "Necklace" (Frost Zone Zine, Spring 2022) was a Rhysling Award nominee and reprinted in the inaugural volume of Year's Best Canadian Science Fiction in 2023.

Her poems have also appeared in many mainstream publications, including Dalhousie Review, Poetry Toronto, White Wall Review, Hart House Review, Hazmat, Nōd, Gusts, and Sijo West. She was the $500 prize winner in McClelland & Stewart's "Celebrate Our City" contest, honoring Toronto's sesquicentennial, and the first-prize winner in Poetry Toronto's "Father's Day" contest.

Her poems are collected in three chapbooks: [SnapShots cover]

  • Snapshots, (May, 2007) published by believe your own press,
  • Changing Planes, (2000) published by Junction Books, and
  • Much Slower Than Light, (updated July, 2014) published by Who's That Coeurl? Press.
She's been a featured reader at the Art Bar, the I.V. Lounge, and the Readings at Noon: Creative Forum for York Writers (all in Toronto). Plus the Cobourg Poetry Workshop.

She's also read her poetry at the Dawson City Community Library, North York Public Library, and Hart House Library.

Carolyn was Poet Guest of Honor at these SF conventions:
  • Contradiction 14 in Niagara Falls, New York (November 4-6, 1994)
  • ValleyCon 22 in Fargo, North Dakota (October 10-12, 1997)
  • ConCat 10 in Knoxville, Tennessee (November 27-29, 1998)
  • Context 12 in Columbus, Ohio (October 8-10, 1999)
  • EerieCon 3 in Niagara Falls, New York (April 20-22, 2001)
  • CanCon 2001 in Ottawa, Ontario (August 17-19, 2001)
  • Minicon 38 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 18-20, 2003).

Editing & Judging:
  • Poetry co-editor with David Clink of Amazing Stories (2018 on).
  • Assistant poetry editor for webzine Chiaroscuro: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words. (2008)
  • Poetry judge for the "Writers on Eighth" competition in Dawson City, Yukon. (2007)
  • Edited Herb Kauderer's poetry chapbook Ghosts Dream of Madmen (2002).
  • Poetry co-editor with Phyllis Gotlieb for TransVersions: An Anthology of New Fantastic Literature (Paper Orchid Press, Mississauga, October 2000).
  • Co-edited the acclaimed Canadian SF&F anthology Tesseracts 6, with Robert J. Sawyer (Tesseract Books, Edmonton, December 1997).
  • Poetry judge for Early Harvest, a young-adult writing contest sponsored by the Vaughan Public Library (both 1994 and 1995).

[Transversions Anthology] Carolyn is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and both she and her brother David are members of the Algonquin Square Table poetry workshop, which meets every other Sunday. Carolyn and the other members of her workshop gave a public reading at Hart House on November 24, 1999, and again on January 28, 2004.

Carolyn studied astrophysics for two years at the University of Toronto (1977-79), then earned a Bachelor of Technology degree in Graphic Arts Management from Toronto's Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Toronto Metropolitan University), awarded 1983.

She worked for thirteen years for large commercial printing companies (Southam Murray and Quebecor Concord), the first five years as an estimator and the final eight as a production coordinator. In June 1997, she went to work full-time for Rob as his salaried assistant, in charge of all aspects of Rob's writing business except for the actual writing.

[Carolyn & David Clink] Carolyn is shown here with her brother David in 2001. David has six poetry chapbooks. The first, His Name was Gord and he used to run with the bulls, was published by Junction Books in May 2001. The next four of his chapbooks were published by believe your own press: The Surly Blondes of Earth (February, 2002), A come-on from the horse on seventh avenue (October, 2002), Shapeshifter, (October, 2004), and One Dozen (May 2007). His sixth chapbook If the World Were to Stop Spinning (2014) is from Piquant Press.

His first two full-length books of poetry, Eating Fruit Out Of Season (2008) and Monster (2010) were published by Tightrope Books. His third book of poetry Crouching Yak, Hidden Emu: Humorous Verse (2012) was published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. See his web site at poetrymachine.com.

You can email Carolyn Clink at: carolyn@sfwriter.com.

More Good Reading

Carolyn's Afterword to Tesseracts 6

Some of Carolyn's beading projects

My Very Occasional Newsletter

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