Sonya Taaffe never knows what to say about herself when asked for a bio. The standard relevant facts: she has published three collections of short fiction and poetry, namely Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), a few chapbooks including The Dybbuk in Love (Prime Books) and Postscripts from the Red Sea (Papaveria Press), and a quantity of uncollected pieces in various magazines and anthologies, of which Not One of Us is the oldest and Lackington’s the most recent. The reprints of which she is proudest include Aliens: Recent Encounters, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. She began publishing in 2001 and won a Rhysling Award in 2003 for her poem “Matlacihuatl’s Gift.” She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons and reviews for Publishers Weekly.
Otherwise, she is a classically trained lyric soprano; she practiced archery competitively for seven years, ran cross-country in high school, and attempted to elevate sleep deprivation to an Olympic sport in college and graduate school. She holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and memorized the first five lines of the Odyssey phonetically a solid year before she learned to read Greek. She learned to wear high heels in order to play a nun in an Italian opera. As a small child she was frightened of masks, so she grew up to be a shape-changer. At present she lives in Somerville with a husband who writes for radio and two cats who can take the trap out of a kitchen sink; she can walk to her lover’s house in about thirty minutes and hang out with two completely different cats. She reads three and a half dead languages and once named a Kuiper belt object. She would add that she is the real-life original of a character by Neal Stephenson, but as the character in question is about five years old and spends most of their screentime drinking cranberry juice, this is a substantially less badass achievement than it sounds.
The sea is important to her. So are the dead. So is being alive.