Billy-Ray Belcourt, Samra Habib, Ness Lee, Vivek Shraya, Mariko Tamaki among Lambda Literary Awards finalists
Poet Billy-Ray Belcourt, memoirist Samra Habib and comic creators Mariko Tamaki, Ness Lee and Vivek Shraya are among the Canadians shortlisted for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards.
The Lambda Literary Awards annually celebrate the best in LGBTQ literature from around the world. There are 14 Canadian books nominated across 24 categories.
Belcourt is a finalist in the gay poetry category for NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field. The past Griffin Poetry Prize winner's latest uses poetry, prose and textual art to explore how Indigenous and queer communities and identities are left out of mainstream media.
- Poet Billy-Ray Belcourt on feeling more 'empowered' to write a year after his Griffin Poetry Prize win
Habib is nominated in the lesbian memoir category for We Have Always Been Here, her debut book. The Toronto writer recounts her childhood in Pakistan, arriving in Canada as a refugee at age 10 and coming into her own as a queer Muslim woman.
Tamaki and her American collaborator Rosemary Valero-O'Connell are shortlisted for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me in the LGBTQ Comics category. It tells the story about a teenage girl named Freddy whose girlfriend, Laura Dean, keeps stringing her along.
Shraya and Lee are nominated in the same category for their comic, Death Threat. The book illustrates the transphobic hate mail Shraya has been receiving from a stranger and her response to it.
Here are all the Canadians nominated for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards:
- Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan
- Just Pervs by Jess Taylor
- Honey Walls by Bones McKay
- Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
- A World Without Martha: A Memoir of Sisters, Disability, and Difference by Victoria Freeman
- Pressure Cooker Love Bomb by Sharanpal Ruprai
- ROMANS/SNOWMARE by Cam Scott
- Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry by Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme
LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult
- Death Threat by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Ness Lee
- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
- Reading Sideways: The Queer Politics of Art in Modern American Fiction by Dana Seitler
The finalists were selected by a panel of 60 judges from over 1,000 submissions. The 2020 winners will be announced on June 8 in New York City. Visit the Lambda Literary Awards website to find out about all the finalists.