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Finalists announced for the 22nd Triangle Awards

by Bay Area Reporter Staff
Saturday Apr 24, 2010

The 22nd annual Triangle Awards, honoring the best lesbian and gay fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2009, will be presented on April 29 in New York City. The Publishing Triangle , an association of lesbians and gay men in publishing, began honoring a gay or lesbian writer for his or her body of work a few months after the organization was founded in 1989, and has now partnered with the Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards to present awards each spring.

Blanche Wiesen Cook is the 2010 recipient of the Publishing Triangle's Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, named in honor of the legendary editor of the 1970s and 80s. Cook, a historian, activist, and scholar, has received near universal acclaim for her multibook biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. Volume 1, 1884-1933, published in 1992, won the Lambda Literary Award and Los Angeles Times Book Award. The second volume, The Defining Years, 1933-1938, appeared in 1999, and the final book is forthcoming. Cook has also edited and contributed to many anthologies and written on LGBT issues throughout her career. For more than 20 years, she produced and hosted her own program for Radio Pacifica. The Bill Whitehead Award is given to a woman in even-numbered years and a man in odd years, and the winner receives $3,000.

The Publishing Triangle began giving the Shilts-Grahn awards for nonfiction in 1997. Each winner receives $1,000. The Judy Grahn Award honors the American writer, cultural theorist and activist (b. 1940) best known for The Common Woman (1969) and Another Mother Tongue (rev. ed., 1984). It recognizes the best nonfiction book of the year affecting lesbian lives; the book may be by a lesbian or about a lesbian or lesbian culture.

Finalists for the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction:

Rebecca Brown, American Romances (City Lights)

Mary Cappello, Called Back (Alyson Books)

Joan Schenkar, The Talented Miss Highsmith (St. Martin's).

The Randy Shilts Award honors the journalist whose groundbreaking work on the AIDS epidemic for the San Francisco Chronicle made him a hero to many in the community. Shilts (1951-94) was the author of The Mayor of Castro Street, And the Band Played On, and Conduct Unbecoming.

Finalists for the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction:

James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love (Random House)

Chap Heap, Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940 (University of Chicago Press)

David Plante, The Pure Lover (Beacon Press).

Each winner of the Publishing Triangle's poetry awards receives $500. The Audre Lorde Award honors the American poet, essayist, librarian, and teacher. Lorde (1934-92) was nominated for the National Book Award for From a Land Where Other People Live and was the poet laureate of New York State in 1991. She received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement shortly before her death. Among her other 16 books are Zami (1982) and A Burst of Light (1989).

Finalists for the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry:

Stacie Cassarino, Zero at the Bone (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

Kristin Naca, Bird Eating Bird (Harper Perennial)

Lee Ann Roripaugh, On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press).

The Thom Gunn Award honors the British poet who lived in San Francisco for much of his life. Gunn (1929-2004) was the author of The Man with Night Sweats (1992) and many other acclaimed volumes. In its first four years, this award was known as the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry, and Gunn himself won the first such award, in 2001, for his Boss Cupid.

Finalists for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry:

Brent Goodman, The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (Black Lawrence Press)

D.A. Powell, Chronic (Graywolf Press)

Ronaldo V. Wilson, Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books)

The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction is named in honor of the esteemed novelist and man of letters who won the first Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1989. The Edmund White Award celebrates the future of lesbian and gay literature by awarding a prize to an outstanding first novel or story collection. The winner receives $1,000.

Finalists for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction:

Elise Moser, Because I Have Loved and Hidden It (Cormorant Books)

Lori Ostlund, The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press)

Rakesh Satyal, Blue Boy (Kensington).

Michele Karlsberg is the winner of the Publishing Triangle's Leadership Award, recognizing contributions to lesbian and gay literature by those who are not primarily writers: editors, agents, librarians, and others. Karlsberg, a veteran book publicist, has been an enthusiastic advocate of LGBT literature for two decades. Among the authors she has worked for are Kate Clinton , Bob Morris, Jewelle Gomez, Felice Picano, Ellen Hart , and the two most recent winners of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, Katherine V. Forrest and Martin Duberman . As curator of Outspoken, a nationwide gay and lesbian literary series, she helps new and established voices reach a wider audience.

The Ferro-Grumley Award for lesbian and gay fiction recognizes fiction-writing from lesbian and gay points of view. These awards honor the memory of authors Robert Ferro (The Blue Star, Second Son) and Michael Grumley (Life Drawing), life partners who died of AIDS in 1988, within weeks of each other. Judges are selected from throughout the US and Canada from the arts, media, publishing, bookselling, and related fields. The winner receives $500.

Finalists for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction:

G. Winston James, Shaming the Devil (Top Pen Press)

Barb Johnson, More of This World or Maybe Another (Harper Perennial)

Eleanor Lerman, The Blonde on the Train (Mayapple Press)

Vestal McIntyre, Lake Overturn (Harper)

Jill Malone, A Field Guide to Deception (Bywater Books)

Sebastian Stuart, The Hour Between (Alyson Books).

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