I often claim we’re in the middle of a fourth Chicago Renaissance, and it looks like the nation’s leading LGBTQ literary organization agrees. This year, six Chicago-based poets and writers — Sophie Lucido Johnson, Charlene Carruthers, Fatimah Asghar, Barrie Jean Borich, Jim Elledge, and E. Patrick Johnson — have been named finalists for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”), as well as local publishers Chicago Review Press and Iron Circus Comics. They were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 books from more than 300 publishers.
“In the ongoing work for LGBTQ equality, literature plays a distinct and powerful role—offering roadmaps for loving, fighting, and thriving,” says Sue Landers, Executive Director of Lambda Literary. “We are thrilled to announce this year’s finalists for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Award, which reflect our community’s vast and continually evolving brilliance.”
All finalists and winners will be celebrated at the awards ceremony on Monday, June 3 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, hosted by Lammy-winning author Mx. Justin Vivian Bond. Tickets are on sale now. Chicago-based authors and publishers have won Lambda awards in the past, including Emil Ferris and Haymarket Books last year, and the University of Chicago Press the year before.
Here are the 6 nominated writers and their books:
If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
Apocalypse, Darling by Barrie Jean Borich
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers
Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s) by Sophie Lucido Johnson
Black. Queer. Southern. Women. An Oral History by E. Patrick Johnson