Kei Miller, Okechukwu Nzelu on Polari Prize 2020 longlists.

Kei Miller, Okechukwu Nzelu on Polari Prize 2020 longlists.

Kei Miller, Okechukwu Nzelu are on the longlists for the Polari First Book Prize 2020 and Polari Prize 2020 announced on June 23, 2020.

The Polari First Book Prize was established to celebrate new writing coming with a focus on LGBTIQ issues by writers born or based in the UK and Ireland by Paul Burton in 2011. It borrowed from the term “Polari” once used as part of the gay subculture in the past. Previous winners of the prize include Angela Chadwick, Fiona Mozley, Saleem Haddad, Paul McVeigh, Kirsty Logan, Diriye Osman, John McCullough, Mari Hannah and James Maker. In 2019, the prize expanded to the Polaris Book Prize open to writers at any stage of their career (except debuts). That prize was won by Andrew McMillan.

Judges for the Polari First Book Prize 2020 are author and 2019 Prize winner Angela Chadwick; writer and performer Cerys Evans; author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at Southbank Centre Rachel Holmes; and poet and performer Keith Jarrett. The Polari First Book Prize 2020 longlisted titles are: ​

  • Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen by Amrou Al-Kadhi (Fourth Estate).
  • Tell Me I’m Forgiven: The Story of Forgotten Stars Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney by Alison Child (Tollington).
  • Queer Intentions: A Personal Journey through LGBTQ+ Culture by Amelia Abraham (Picador).
  • Surge by Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus).
  • Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide by Kate Charlesworth (Myriad Editions).
  • Flèche by Mary Jean Chan (Faber).
  • The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu (Dialogue Books).
  • Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen (Ebury Press)
  • Salt Slow by Julia Armfield (Picador).
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Penguin).
  • A Love Story for Bewildered Girls by Emma Morgan (Penguin).
  • Death Magazine by Matthew Haigh (Salt) ​ .

Judges for the 2020 Polari Book Prize are National Centre for Writing CEO Chris Gribble; literary critic Suzi Feay; author and performer VG Lee; and poet and 2019 Prize winner Andrew McMillan. The Polari Prize 2020 longlisted titles are: ​

  • Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas by Dustin Lance Black (John Murray).
  • In At The Deep End by Kate Davies (The Borough Press)
  • Blue Wallpaper by Robert Hamberger (Waterloo Press)
  • In Nearby Bushes by Kei Miller (Carcanet).
  • Reckless Paper Birds by John McCullough (Penned In The Margins).
  • Trans Power: Your Own Gender by Juno Roche (Jes- sica Kingsley Publishers).
  • Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson (Vintage).
  • Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker).
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books).
  • The Other Mother: A Wickedly Honest Parenting Tale for Every Kind of Family by Jen Brister (Square Peg).
  • This Brutal House by Niven Govinden (Dialogue Books) Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill & Secker)

The winner of the Polari First Book Prize gets a £1,000 cash prize while the Polari Prize winner goes home with £2,000. The shortlists and winners will be announced later in the year.


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