Longlists announced for the UK and Ireland’s only dedicated prize for LGBTQ+ literature

Graham Robson July 25, 2023

Celebrating a wealth of genres and forms, including memoir, poetry, historical fiction and gripping thrillers, the UK and Ireland’s only dedicated prize for LGBTQ+ literature has announced its 2023 longlists for the Polari Prize and Polari First Book Prize.

This year’s longlists feature notable debuts and highly acclaimed titles including the Sunday Times bestselling memoir A Visible Man by Edward Enninful (Bloomsbury), the Orwell prize-winning The New Life by Tom Crewe (Chatto & Windus) and Travis Alabanza’s None of the Above (Canongate).

A dash of historical fiction appears across both longlists including the previously mentioned debut from Crewe as well as Patrick Gale’s Mother’s Boy (Tinder Press) as well as taut and gripping crime thrillers such as No Country for Girls by Emma Style (Sphere) and The Schoolhouse by Sophie Ward (Corsair). As for poetry, Caroline Bird presents work composed over two decades in Rookie (Carcanet Press) while poet Seán Hewitt turns his hand to memoir with All Down Darkness Wide (Jonathan Cape).

Paul Burston, Prize founder, said: “This year’s Polari Prize long lists demonstrate a diverse range of LGBTQ+ literary talent, writing across many different genres and from a wide variety of perspectives. The volume and quality of submissions was extremely high this year, and the judges really had their work cut out.

“But these are long lists we can all be proud of. At a time when LGBTQ+ people are under attack, our stories matter more than ever. These are our stories. Read them. Learn from them. Celebrate them.”

This year’s shortlists will be announced on September 27, 2023 at Polari on Sea in Hastings.

The winner’s Prize ceremony will once again return to the British Library, taking place on November 24, 2023.

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