Lambda Lit Award finalists announced

  • by Roberto Friedman
  • Tuesday March 17, 2020
Share this Post:
Lambda Lit Award finalists announced

The Lambda Literary Award finalists were announced last week, ahead of the awards presentation to take place on June 8 in NYC. With 23 categories ranging across genre and orientation, the list covers a lot of ground. Its representation of the literary talent in our community is broad and far-ranging, with work from established publishing houses and small presses.

We have room to mention only a few of the nominees; the full list can be found at the end of this column online.

From Lesbian Fiction nominees, the B.A.R. reviewed "Patsy" by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Liveright Publishing). From Gay Fiction, the B.A.R. reviewed both "Lot" by Bryan Washington (Riverhead Books) and "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press).

From Transgender Nonfiction, this newspaper has covered "We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan, Ellis Martin and Zach Ozma" (Nightboat Books). From LGBTQ Nonfiction, we have reviewed "In the Dream House" by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press).

From Gay Mystery, we have reviewed "ChoirMaster: A Mister Puss Mystery" by Michael Craft (Questover Press).

Our paper's coverage has included, from Lesbian Memoir/Biography, "Sontag: Her Life and Work" by Benjamin Moser (Ecco). From Gay Memoir/Biography, we have reviewed "Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977-1997" by Alvin Orloff (Three Rooms Press); "The Light Years" by Chris Rush (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and coming soon, "In the Shadow of the Bridge" by Joseph Caldwell (Delphinium Books).

From LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult, we have reviewed "Pet" by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World).

From LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, we have reviewed "Black Leopard, Red Wolf" by Marlon James (Riverhead Books).

Good luck to all the nominees. A full list of categories and finalists follows.

Full List of Lambda Literary Award nominees

Lesbian Fiction

Cantoras, Carolina De Robertis, Knopf

A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant, Janice Gould, Sinister Wisdom & Inanna Publications

Mostly Dead Things, Kristen Arnett, Tin House Books

On Swift Horses, Shannon Pufahl, Riverhead Books

Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Liveright Publishing

A People's History of Heaven, Mathangi Subramanian, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson, Riverhead Books

Stay and Fight, Madeline ffitch, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Gay Fiction

Animalia, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated by Frank Wynne, Grove Press

The Archive of Alternate Endings, Lindsey Drager, Dzanc Books

In West Mills, De'Shawn Charles Winslow, Bloomsbury Publishing

Like This Afternoon Forever, Jaime Manrique, Kaylie Jones Books

Lord, Jo�o Gilberto Noll, translated by Edgar Garbelotto, Two Lines Press

Lot, Bryan Washington, Riverhead Books

Murmur, Will Eaves, Bellevue Literary Press

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press

Bisexual Fiction

Big Familia, Tomas Moniz, Acre Books

Deposing Nathan, Zack Smedley, Page Street

Exquisite Mariposa, Fiona Alison Duncan, Soft Skull Press

Jude, Garrett Leigh, Fox Love Press

Just Pervs, Jess Taylor, Book*hug Press

The Man Who Saw Everything, Deborah Levy, Bloomsbury Publishing

The Not Wives, Carley Moore, The Feminist Press

The Remainder, Alia Trabucco Zer�n, translated by Sophie Hughes, Coffee House Press

Transgender Fiction

The Beatrix Gates, Rachel Pollack, PM Press

Honey Walls, Bones McKay, McKay & Gray Publications

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian), Hazel Jane Plante, Metonymy Press

Poet, Prophet, Fox: The Tale of Sinnach the Seer, M.Z. McDonnell, Self-published

The Trans Space Octopus Congregation, Bogi Tak�cs, Lethe Press

Bisexual Nonfiction

IMPERVIOUS: Confessions of a Semi-Retired Deviant, Janet W. Hardy, SinCyr Publishing

Socialist Realism, Trisha Low, Coffee House Press

A World Without Martha: A Memoir of Sisters, Disability, and Difference, Victoria Freeman, UBC Press

Transgender Nonfiction

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States, Samantha Allen, Little, Brown and Company

Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice: A New Model for Understanding Gender, S.J. Langer, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Time Is the Thing A Body Moves Through, T Fleischmann, Coffee House Press

We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan, Ellis Martin and Zach Ozma, Nightboat Books

LGBTQ Nonfiction

Bloodflowers: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Photography, and the 1980s, W. Ian Bourland, Duke University Press

The Bodies of Others: Drag Dances and Their Afterlives, Selby Wynn Schwartz, University of Michigan Press

Dying to Be Normal: Gay Martyrs and the Transformation of American Sexual Politics, Brett Krutzsch, Oxford University Press

Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women, E. Patrick Johnson, Duke University Press

In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado, Graywolf Press

When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History, Hugh Ryan, St. Martin's Press

Why Karen Carpenter Matters, Karen Tongson, University of Texas Press

A Year Without a Name, Cyrus Grace Dunham, Little, Brown and Company

Lesbian Poetry

& more black, t'ai freedom ford, Augury Books

Odes to Lithium, Shira Erlichman, Alice James Books

(the other house), Roc�o Carlos, The Accomplices

Pressure Cooker Love Bomb, Sharanpal Ruprai, Frontenac House

Soft Science, Franny Choi, Alice James Books

Time, Etel Adnan, translated by Sarah Riggs, Nightboat Books

tsunami vs. the fukushima 50, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Milkweed Editions

Without Protection, Gala Mukomolova, Coffee House Press

Gay Poetry

Doomstead Days, Brian Teare, Nightboat Books

The Experiment of the Tropics, Lawrence Lacambra Ypil, Gaudy Boy

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, Jake Skeets, Milkweed Editions

Losing Miami, Gabriel Ojeda-Sagu�, The Accomplices

NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, Billy-Ray Belcourt, House of Anansi Press

The Revisionist & The Astropastorals, Douglas Crase, Nightboat Books

SLINGSHOT, Cyr�e Jarelle Johnson, Nightboat Books

The Tradition, Jericho Brown, Copper Canyon Press

Bisexual Poetry

Build Yourself a Boat, Camonghne Felix, Haymarket Books

HoodWitch, Faylita Hicks, Acre Books

Moira of Edges, Moira the Tart, Moina Pam Dick, Organism for Poetic Research

Pet Sounds, Stephanie Young, Nightboat Books

Revenge of the Asian Woman, Dorothy Chan, Diode Editions


A Sand Book, Ariana Reines, Tin House Books

water/tongue, mai c. doan, Omnidawn

Transgender Poetry

Dispatch, Cameron Awkward-Rich, Persea Books

EXTRATRANSMISSION, Andrea Abi-Karam, Kelsey Street Press

HULL, Xandria Phillips, Nightboat Books

Our Weather Our Sea, Samuel Ace, Black Radish Books

The Year of Blue Water, Yanyi, Yale University Press

Lesbian Mystery

The Blood Runs Cold, Catherine Maiorisi, Bella Books

Galileo, Ann McMan, Bywater Books

The Hound of Justice, Claire O'Dell, Harper Voyager

The Mirror of Muraro, Amelia Ellis, Newton Pryce Ingram

Twisted at the Root: A Jane Lawless Mystery, Ellen Hart, Minotaur Books

Gay Mystery

Carved in Bone: A Henry Rios Novel, Michael Nava, Persigo Press

ChoirMaster: A Mister Puss Mystery, Michael Craft, Questover Press

Death Takes a Bow, David S. Pederson, Bold Strokes Books

The Fourth Courier, Timothy Jay Smith, Arcade Publishing

The Nowhere, Chris Gill, PRNTD Publishing

The Quaker, Liam McIlvanney, Europa Editions/World Noir

Rewind, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books

Royal Street Reveillon, Greg Herren, Bold Strokes Books

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, T Kira Madden, Bloomsbury Publishing

Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing, Elissa Altman, Ballantine Books

Ordinary Girls, Jaquira D�az, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

The Rib Joint: A Memoir In Essays, Julia Koets, Red Hen Press

Sontag: Her Life and Work, Benjamin Moser, Ecco

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval, Saidiya Hartman, W. W. Norton & Company

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir, Samra Habib, Viking Canada

A Wild and Precious Life, Edie Windsor with Joshua Lyon, St. Martin's Press

Gay Memoir/Biography

The Amphitheater of the Dead, Guy Hocquenghem, translated by Max Fox, Guillotine

DISASTERAMA! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977-1997, Alvin Orloff, Three Rooms Press

How We Fight for Our Lives, Saeed Jones, Simon & Schuster

I.M., Isaac Mizrahi, Flatiron Books

In the Shadow of the Bridge, Joseph Caldwell, Delphinium Books

Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex, Siddharth Dube, Atria Books

Jimmy Neurosis, James Oseland, Ecco

The Light Years, Chris Rush, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Lesbian Romance

Aurora's Angel: A Dark Fantasy Romance, Emily Noon, Bluefire Books

Create a Life to Love, Erin Zak, Bold Strokes Books

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, Alyssa Cole, Avon Impulse

Pretending in Paradise, M. Ullrich, Bold Strokes Books

The Roommate Arrangement, Jae, Ylva Publishing

The Secret Chord, Virginia Hale, Bella Books

Tennessee Whiskey, Donna K. Ford, Bold Strokes Books

Top of Her Game, M. Ullrich, Bold Strokes Books

Gay Romance

Best Man, Chris Delyani, Self-published

Blue Umbrella Sky, Rick R. Reed, Dreamspinner Press

Code Name: Liberty, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books

Digging Deep, Jay Hogan, Dreamspinner Press

Escaping Camp Roosevelt, Bryan T. Clark, Cornbread Publishing

Joseph Chapman: My Molly Life, James Lovejoy, Self-published

Kiss Me Again, Garrett Leigh, Fox Love Press

My Baby Chased Away the Blues, R.A. Thorn, NineStar Press

LGBTQ Anthology

The BreakBeat Poets Volume 3: Halal if You Hear Me, Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo, Haymarket Books

Foglifter Volume 4 Issue 2, Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, Foglifter Press

The Heart of the Matter: The Gerald Kraak Anthology Volume III, The Other Foundation, Jacana Media

Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry, Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme, Arsenal Pulp Press

LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia, Jeff Mann and Julia Watts, West Virginia University Press

Love WITH Accountability: Digging up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, AK Press

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity, Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane, Columbia University Press

A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969, Noam Sienna, Print-O-Craft

LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult

All the Things We Do in the Dark, Saundra Mitchell, HarperTeen

The Grief Keeper, Alexandra Villasante, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Hazel's Theory of Evolution, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, HarperCollins

Hurricane Season, Nicole Melleby, Algonquin Young Readers

The Meaning of Birds, Jaye Robin Brown, HarperTeen

Pet, Akwaeke Emezi, Make Me a World

Pride Colors, Robin Stevenson, Orca Book Publishers

Wilder Girls, Rory Power, Delacorte Press

LGBTQ Comics

Are You Listening?, Tillie Walden, First Second

Cannonball, Kelsey Wroten, Uncivilized Books

Death Threat, Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Ness Lee, Arsenal Pulp Press

Is This How You See Me?,



The Amateurs, Jordan Harrison, Samuel French, Inc.

Dr. Ride's American Beach House, Liza Birkenmeier, produced by Ars Nova

A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson, produced by Playwrights Horizons

LGBTQ Erotica

Lord of the Senses, Vikram Kolmannskog, Team Angelica Publishing

Lot's Wife: An Erotic Novella, Rosalind Chase, Under Hill Press

The Shape of the Earth, Gary Garth McCann, Bold Strokes Books

Texas Crude, Thomas Kearnes, Lethe Press

Whore Foods, LA Warman, Inpatient Press

LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James, Riverhead Books

The Deep, Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, Gallery / Saga Press

False Bingo, Jac Jemc, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon, Bloomsbury Publishing

The Rampant, Julie C. Day, Aqueduct Press

A Spectral Hue, Craig Laurance Gidney, Word Horde

Stories to Sing in the Dark, Matthew Bright, Lethe Press

Wake, Siren, Nina MacLaughlin, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

LGBTQ Studies

All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence, Emily L. Thuma, University of Illinois Press

Archiving an Epidemic: Art, AIDS, and the Queer Chicanx Avant-Garde, Robb Hern�ndez, New York University Press

Beside You in Time: Sense Methods and Queer Sociabilities in the American Nineteenth Century, Elizabeth Freeman, Duke University Press

Queer Times, Black Futures, Kara Keeling, New York University Press

Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candombl�, Santer�a and Vodou, Roberto Strongman, Duke University Press

Reading Sideways: The Queer Politics of Art in Modern American Fiction, Dana Seitler, Fordham University Press

Scorpio Rising: A Queer Film Classic, R.L. Cagle, Arsenal Pulp Press

Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement, Jian Neo Chen, Duke University Press

There will be three public finalist readings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and NYC. These readings will be announced at a later date.