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Sarah Moss among authors longlisted for Polari prize

The contenders for the Polari prize and the Polari first book prize have been announced.


Sarah Moss (University of Warwick/Wellcome)

Sarah Moss (University of Warwick/Wellcome)

Sarah Moss (University of Warwick/Wellcome)

Stories that explore the trans experience and discuss gender identities are among the poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction have been shortlisted for the Polari first book prize and the new Polari prize.

The additional prize was announced earlier this year by the LGBT literary salon and will be for any book by an LGBT+ author or a title that explores LBGT+ themes.

Some 12 books are in the running for each of the awards, with Alex Reeve’s The House On Half Moon Street, XX by Angela Chadwick and Not Just A Tomboy by Caspar J Baldwin among the titles in contention for the first book prize.

Others in the running include The Unexpected Love Objects Of Dunya Noor by Rana Haddad, Soho by Richard Scott, Attend by West Camel, Disbanded Kingdom by Polis Loizou, Next Lesson by Chris Woodley, Queer Sex by Juno Roche, Out Of The Woods by Luke Turner, Visceral by RJ Arkhipov and Yes You Are Trans Enough by Mia Violet.

The prize will be judged by novelist Kiki Archer, writer Cerys Evans; author Rachel Holmes; and poet and former Polari First Book
Prize winner John McCullough.

The contenders for the Polari Prize, which will award established authors, include Drapetomanic by John R Gordon, The Other Woman by Sophia Blackwell and Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale.

Also in contention are The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech, David Llewellyn’s A Simple Scale, Making Oscar Wilde by Michele Mendelssohn, Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen,  Playtime by Andrew McMillan, Prodigal by Charles Lambert, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Kate Bradbury, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss and The AQI by David Tait.

Judges for the new prize include author Bernardine Evaristo, author and performer VG Lee, and playwright and former winner of The Polari First Book Prize Paul McVeigh.

Paul Burston, founder of the prizes and chair of judges, said: “The books on this year’s longlists celebrate LGBT lives in their many varieties.

“At a time when reactionary forces are on the rise and political battles won many years ago are being fought all over again, books that tell the truth about who we really are serve a powerful purpose.

“Stories about trans lives and gender identities feature heavily.

“There are also books about the changing landscape of our collective experiences, from gay shame to equal marriage.

“Together these longlists represent the very best in emerging and established LGBT literary talent today.”

The shortlists will be announced on July 26 at a special Polari Literary Salon hosted at the Southbank Centre.

The winner will be announced in October at the London Literature Festival.