Thirty-Third Annual Lambda Literary Awards, Arthur Sze Wins Shelley Memorial Award, and More

by Staff
6.2.21

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The winners of the thirty-third annual Lambda Literary Awards, which honor outstanding queer and trans writing, were announced in a virtual ceremony yesterday evening. Among the honorees, Zeyn Joukhadar won the transgender fiction prize for The Thirty Names of Night and Pamela Sneed won the lesbian poetry prize for Funeral Diva. The organization also awarded four special honors, including the inaugural Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction, which went to Ana-Maurine Lara.

The Poetry Society of America has announced Arthur Sze as the winner of this year’s Shelley Memorial Award, which honors “poetic genius.” In their citation, judges Ben Olguín and Vijay Seshadri wrote, “The nets of awareness Arthur Sze casts across the world are large and light and buoyant. Their mesh is fine, but they also have tremendous flexibility and tensile strength and can stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch.”

Bookbarn International and World of Books Group, two prominent used booksellers in the U.K., have teamed up to devise AuthorSHARE, a program to provide royalty payments to authors on used book sales. The initiative is supported by the Society of Authors and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. (Guardian)

Hyphen Media, a new podcast company that seeks to promote narratives by and about people of color, has drawn scrutiny for how its branding bears resemblance to Hyphen Magazine, which has championed Asian American stories since 2002. (Reappropriate)

“So much of my relationship with myself was centered on the straight, cis experience of me, on external validation and acceptance, and so little was left for building my own security and joy in identity.” Casey McQuiston, the author of One Last Stop, writes about learning to embody queerness on her own terms. (Oprah Daily)

“Our book club isn’t what I thought I wanted. It’s what I needed. Perhaps because it’s in a library, I felt welcome from the moment I walked in. And that’s what matters.” Christina Simon writes in praise of the book club at her local public library. (Electric Literature)

Publishers Weekly has confirmed it intends to host the second U.S. Book Show in May 2022 with both virtual and in-person events. The inaugural U.S. Book Show, which took place online last week, featured programming with Anthony Doerr, Ijeoma Oluo, and Oprah Winfrey, among other distinguished guests.

Bookforum contributors reflect on the present and future of contemporary literature. “I wish that future novelists would reject the pressure to write for the betterment of society. Art is not media,” writes Ottessa Moshfegh.