Belfast Telegraph

Polari Prizes honour intimate poetry and lesbian motherhood novel

Winners of the LGBT book awards have been announced.

Winners were announced at the Southbank Centre, London (Katie Collins/PA)
Winners were announced at the Southbank Centre, London (Katie Collins/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

The Polari Prizes celebrating LGBT literature have been honoured for intimate poetry and work exploring lesbian pregnancy.

Dystopian novel XX by Angela Chadwick, an examination of contemporary prejudices through the conceit of female-only fertilisation, was awarded the First Book Prize for work by new writers.

Playtime, a collection of verse by Andrew McMillan, was given the inaugural Polari Prize, which will go to established authors.

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Angela Chadwick (Polari Prize/PA)

Both awards are reserved for LGBT authors, or for books exploring LGBT issues.

Booker Prize-winner Bernadine Evaristo presented the honours at the Southbank Centre in London.

She said of McMillan: “He is exploring coming of age, masculinity and sexuality in ways that move and surprise.

“His poetic voice is completely natural and free, with no pretence or attempts to obfuscate meaning, yet the work has emotional complexity, power and depth.”

Fellow judge and author Rachel Holmes called it “an exquisitely plotted page-turner”.

XX is set in a world where ovum to ovum technology allows women to conceive children without the need for sperm, leading to media outcry and social self-examination in the face of the potential demise of men.

Playtime examines homosexuality, masculinity, and the move from innocence into adult experience.

The recently founded Polari Prize recognises established authors, while the Polari First Book Prize, now in its ninth year, champions work by new writers.

PA

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