Books

Kai Cheng Thom wins $4K Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ emerging writers

The performance artist and poet's recent work includes the poetry collection a place called No Homeland and the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars.
Kai Cheng Thom is the author of the poetry collection a place called No Homeland. (Courtesy of Kai Cheng Thom/Arsenal Pulp Press)

Kai Cheng Thom is the winner of the 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize. Given annually since 2007, the $4,000 award recognizes a writer who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer and whose work has shown "great literary promise."

Cheng Thom is a Toronto-based poet, performance artist and psychotherapist. Her recent work includes the poetry collection a place called No Homeland and the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars.

The jury, which consisted of Jane Eaton Hamilton, Elio Iannacci and Trish Salah, said "Thom's work is sheer joyful exuberance, creativity, and talent."

The jury also said that Thom's novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, "is a delicious and fabulist refashioning of a trans memoir as fiction. It is a cacophonous coming-of-age story and a genre-breaking refusal of the idea that the only stories trans people have to tell are their autobiographies."

The other finalists for the 2017 prize were poet Ali Blythe and short story writer Eva Crocker.

Last year's winner was poet Leah Horlick. Other past winners include Farzana Doctor and Zoe Whittall.

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