Billy-Ray Belcourt, Samra Habib, Ness Lee, Vivek Shraya, Mariko Tamaki among Lambda Literary Awards finalists

The Lambda Literary Awards annually celebrate the best in LGBTQ literature. There are 14 Canadian books nominated across 24 categories.
(From left to right): Billy-Ray Belcourt, Samra Habib, Ness Lee, Vivek Shraya and Mariko Tamaki are among the Canadians whose books are up for 2020 Lambda Literary Awards. (Frontenac House, Yuula Benivolski, Tanja Tiziana, Shawnee Custalow)

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 FieldThe 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.

Habib is nominated in the lesbian memoir category for We Have Always Been Hereher 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.

We Have Always Been Here will be defended on Canada Reads 2020 by Amanda Brugel. The debates take place March 16-19.

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 ThreatThe 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:

Bisexual fiction

  • Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan
  • Just Pervs by Jess Taylor

Transgender fiction

  • Honey Walls by Bones McKay
  • Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante

Bisexual Nonfiction

  • A World Without Martha: A Memoir of Sisters, Disability, and Difference by Victoria Freeman

Lesbian poetry

  • Pressure Cooker Love Bomb by Sharanpal Ruprai

Gay Poetry

Bisexual poetry

  • ROMANS/SNOWMARE by Cam Scott

Lesbian memoir/biography

LGBTQ Anthology

  • Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry by Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme

LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult

LGBTQ Comics

LGBTQ Studies

  • 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.