2021 Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced

Lambda Literary announced the winners of the 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards, known as the “Lammys,” on June 1 at a ceremony hosted by Rakesh Satyal, who won a Lambda Literary Award for his debut novel, Blue Boy. Last year's awards ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic; this year's event was held virtually, on Zoom. The event, as always, doubled as a fundraiser to help support Lambda Literary’s programs.

Last night's ceremony was also the debut of the Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction, named for the Lammy-winning author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, who died in August of 2020. The prize bearing his name honors "writers whose work explores themes of Black LGBTQ life, culture, and history," and comes with a $3,000 cash prize. Ana-Maurine Lara is the inaugural recipient of the prize.

Other special prize winners announced last night include: Brontez Purnell and Sarah Gerard, who won the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize, a $5,000 prize. Nancy Agabian won the $2,500 Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, and T Kira Madden and Taylor Johnson won the $1,000 Judith Markowitz Award, which "recognizes two writers whose work demonstrates exceptional potential."

The winners in each category are as follows:

Lesbian Fiction

Fiebre Tropical, Juli Delgado Lopera, Feminist Press

Gay Fiction

Neotenica, Joon Oluchi Lee, Nightboat Books

Bisexual Fiction

You Exist Too Much, Zaina Arafat, Catapult

Transgender Fiction 

The Thirty Names of Night, Zeyn Joukhadar, Atria Books

Bisexual Nonfiction

Wow, No Thank You.: Essays, Samantha Irby, Vintage

Transgender Nonfiction

The Black Trans Prayer Book, J Mase III & Dane Figueroa Edidi, The Black Trans Prayer Book

LGBTQ Nonfiction

The Lonely Letters, Ashon T. Crawley, Duke University Press

Lesbian Poetry

Funeral Diva, Pamela Sneed, City Lights Books

Gay Poetry 

Guillotine, Eduardo C. Corral, Graywolf Press

Bisexual Poetry

Salt Body Shimmer, Aricka Foreman, YesYes Books 

Transgender Poetry

I Love You and I'm Not Dead, Sade LaNay, Argos Books

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, Jenn Shapland, Tin House Books

Gay Memoir/Biography

A Dutiful Boy: A Memoir of a Gay Muslim's Journey to Acceptance, Mohsin Zaidi, Square Peg 

 Lesbian Romance

Written in the Stars, Alexandria Bellefleur, Avon Books

Gay Romance

The Ghost and Charlie Muir, Felice Stevens, Self-published

LGBTQ Anthology

Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, Joshua Whitehead, Arsenal Pulp Press

LGBTQ Children’s/Middle Grade 

King and the Dragonflies, Kacen Callender, Scholastic

LGBTQ Young Adult 

Flamer, Mike Curato, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

LGBTQ Comics

Apsara Engine, Bishakh Som, Feminist Press


The Book of Mountains and Seas, Yilong Liu, New Conservatory Theatre Center

LGBTQ Erotica

The Nerves, Lee Suksi, Metatron Press

LGBTQ Mystery

I Hope You're Listening, Tom Ryan, Albert Whitman & Company

LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Everyone on the Moon Is Essential Personnel, Julian K. Jarboe, Lethe Press

LGBTQ Studies 

Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, NYU Press

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