By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Books That Tell the Truth’

This evening (June 10) at London’s Southbank Centre, opening the ninth year of the Polari Prize’s honors for writers “whose work explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction, or nonfiction.”

This year for the first time, the Polari is to recognize established authors. The parallel Polari Fist Book Prize will continue the program’s original mission, the recognition of new writers.

In a prepared statement for the news media, the program’s founding jury chair Paul Burston is quoted, saying, “The books on this year’s longlists celebrate LGBT lives in their many varieties.

“At a time when reactionary forces are on the rise and political battles won many years ago are being fought all over again, books that tell the truth about who we really are serve a powerful purpose.

“Stories about trans lives and gender identities feature heavily. There are also books about the changing landscape of our collective experiences, from gay shame to equal marriage. Together these longlists represent the very best in emerging and established LGBT literary talent today.”

Jurors for the traditional Polari First Book Prize this year are novelist Kiki Archer; writer and performer Cerys Evans; author and Southbank Centre former head of literature Rachel Holmes; and poet and former Polari First Book Prize winner John McCullough.

Jurors for the new prize offering are author Bernardine Evaristo; National Centre for Writing CEO Chris Gribble; author and performer VG Lee; and playwright and former winner of The Polari First Book Prize Paul McVeigh.

Shortlist announcements for this program are expected July 26 with winner announcements to be made in October during the London Literature Festival.

2019 Polari Prize Longlists

Polari First Book Prize 2019 Longlist

  • The House on Half Moon Street by Alex Reeve (Raven)
  • XX by Angela Chadwick (Dialogue Books)
  • The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor by Rana Haddad (Hoopoe)
  • Soho by Richard Scott (Faber & Faber)
  • Attend by West Camel (Orenda Books)
  • Disbanded Kingdom by Polis Loizou (Cloud Lodge)
  • Not Just A Tomboy by Caspar J Baldwin (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  • Next Lesson by Chris Woodley
  • Queer Sex by Juno Roche (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  • Out of the Woods by Luke Turner (Orion)
  • Visceral by RJ Arkhipov (Zuleika)
  • Yes You Are Trans Enough by Mia Violet (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Polari Prize 2019 Longlist