The Publishing Triangle recently announced the winners of the Triangle Awards, honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and trans literature. Founded in 1988, The Publishing Triangle works to create and support a sense of community for lesbian and gay people in the publishing industry.
The Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction
Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera
Uprooted from Bogotá into an ant-infested Miami townhouse, fifteen-year-old Francisca is miserable in her strange new city. Her alienation grows when her mother is swept up in an evangelical church, replete with abstinent salsa dancers and baptisms for the dead. But there, Francisca meets the magnetic Carmen: head of the youth group and the pastor’s daughter. As her mother’s mental health deteriorates, Francisca falls for with Carmen and is saved to grow closer with her, even as their relationship hurtles toward a shattering conclusion.
The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland
How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered—an icon and idol—alongside your own? Jenn Shapland’s celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America’s most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love.
Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers’s life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others’ narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers’s life—her history, her secrets, her legacy—reveal to Shapland about herself?
The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction
The Deviant’s War by Eric Cervini
In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny, like countless gay men and women before him, was promptly dismissed from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, Eric Cervini’s The Deviant’s War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, the group Kameny founded, became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees. It traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance.
The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry
Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages–bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers–be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire , then. / Let me call it, a garden .” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.
The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry
13th Balloon by Mark Bibbins
In his fourth collection, 13th Balloon, Mark Bibbins turns his candid eye to the American AIDS crisis. With quiet consideration and dark wit, Bibbins addresses the majority of his poems to Mark Crast, his friend and lover who died from AIDS at the early age of 25. Every broken line and startling linguistic turn grapples with the genre of elegy: what does it mean to experience personal loss, Bibbins seems to ask, amidst a greater societal tragedy?
The Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature
Trans Care by Hil Malatino
Trans Care is a critical intervention in how care labor and care ethics have been thought, arguing that dominant modes of conceiving and critiquing the politics and distribution of care entrench normative and cis-centric familial structures and gendered arrangements. A serious consideration of trans survival and flourishing requires a radical rethinking of how care operates.
The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
99 Erics by Julia Serano
Kat Cataclysm is an ethically non-monogamous bisexual woman and absurdist short fiction writer. 99 Erics is a humorous account of Kat’s experiences writing a book called 99 Erics, which is about her experiences dating ninety-nine different people named Eric. It is more surreal than slutty. Not that there is anything wrong with slutty. The book is largely comprised of humorous anecdotes from Kat’s dates with various Erics; satirical takes on relationships, sexual conventions, language, the writing process, book publishing, online media, and tech culture; and Kat’s smart yet silly digressions on a variety of topics, including the distorted nature of memories, hipsters, sex toys, sabermetrics, YA dystopian fiction, trendy restaurants, Freudian slips, banana slug mating practices, lucid dreaming, agnosticism, the internet of things, and Prince lyrics, to name but a few. These more fanciful passages are seamlessly interwoven with more serious and mundane matters, such as navigating the world as a woman and sexual minority, being an outcast who doesn’t really fit in, struggling to make ends meet, and reconciling one’s past with the present. The end result is a fun and fast read that tackles meaty subjects and contemporary issues along the way.