New York, NY, June 11, 2022 — Lambda Literary, the nation's premier LGBTQ literary organization, announced the winners of the 34th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the "Lammys") at a live virtual award ceremony hosted by award-winning writer, activist, and media strategist Raquel Willis.
Always known for championing works published by emerging authors and small presses, this year's winners list is once again an impressive mix of books from publishers both large and small. For just the second time in Lammy history, a self-published work has been recognized, with Milena McKay's The Headmistress winning the Lammy for Lesbian Romance. As the Lammys have always done, this year's awards honor exciting new LGBTQ voices like Brian Broome, winner in the Gay Memoir/Biography category for his masterful debut memoir, Punch Me Up To the Gods: A Memoir, and Lee Lai, whose debut graphic novel, Stone Fruit, won in the LGBTQ Comics category, as well as writers who have been excelling in their respective genres for years, like Jeanne Thornton, whose critically-acclaimed novel Summer Fun won the Lammy for Transgender Fiction, and Sarah Schulman, whose Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, one of the best reviewed books of 2021, won the Lammy for LGBTQ Nonfiction.
The evening's celebration, held virtually for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, also doubled as a fundraiser to help support Lambda Literary's programs. Preceded by an afternoon of readings from the finalists, the awards were once again a rousing celebration of LGTBQ literature, and the power of this community's voices.
The Lammys are the most prestigious award in LGBTQ publishing.
- We Want What We Want // Alix Ohlin, House Anansi Press
- Borealis // Aisha Sabatini Sloan, Coffee House Press
- Gumbo Ya Ya // Aurielle Marie, University of Pittsburgh Press
- 100 Boyfriends // Brontez Purnell, MCD x FSG Originals
- Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir // Brian Broome, Mariner Books
- Punks: New & Selected Poems // John Keene, The Song Cave
- Excellent Sons: A Love Story in Three Acts // Larry Benjamin, Beaten Track Publishing
- Skye Falling // Mia McKenzie, Random House
- The One You Want to Marry (And Other Identities I've Had): A Memoir // Sophie Santos, TOPPLE Books
- Last Days // Tamiko Beyer, Alice James Books
- The Headmistress // Milena McKay, Self-Published
- Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought // Edited by Briona Simone Jones, The New Press
LGBTQ CHILDREN'S/MIDDLE GRADE
- Calvin // JR and Vanessa Ford, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
- Stone Fruit // Lee Lai, Fantagraphics Books
- Mrs. Harrison // R. Eric Thomas, TRW Plays
- Big Joe // Samuel R. Delany, Inpatient Press
- The Savage Kind // John Copenhaver, Pegasus Books
- Let the Record Show // Sarah Schulman, Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux
LGBTQ SPECULATIVE FICTION
- No Gods, No Monsters // Cadwell Turnbull, Blackstone Publishing
- Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life before Stonewall // Anna Lvovsky, University of Chicago Press
LGBTQ YOUNG ADULT
- The Heartbreak Bakery // A. R. Capetta, Candlewick Press
- Summer Fun // Jeanne Thornton, Soho Press
- Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness // Da'Shaun Harrison, North Atlantic Books
- Crossbones on My Life // Mason J, Nomadic Press
Lambda Literary has previously announced the recipients of this year's honorary awards, including a new award given for the first time this year, the J. Michael Samuel Prize for emerging LGBTQ writers over 50. Made possible by writer and philanthropist Chuck Forester, who created it out of the firmly held belief that "Writers who start late are just as good as other writers, it just took the buggers more time," the prize is earmarked for unpublished writers working in any genre, and this year's inaugural winner was Jobert E. Abueva, who also received the $5000 monetary award. The Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction, in its second year, was awarded to Kalynn Bayron, who received the $3000 cash prize, with two $250 honorable mention prizes going to Robert Jones, Jr. and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. Other special prizes awarded this year included VI KHI NAO and Silas House winning the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize, a $5,000 prize given annually to two LGBTQ-identified authors who have published multiple novels and show promise to continue publishing high quality work for years to come. Aisha Sabatini Sloan won the $2,500 Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, granted to a writer committed to nonfiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian and queer life, culture, and history. The Judith Markowitz Award recognizes two writers whose work demonstrates exceptional potential, and Morgan Thomas and Ching-In Chen were awarded this year's $1,500 prizes. More information on these winners and their prizes is available here: lambdaliterary.org/awards/special-awards/ .