The Frost Fairs by poet John McCullough has been named winner of the Polari First Book Prize 2012 at an event at the Southbank Centre last night.
This year, for the first time, the winner received a cheque for £1000, courtesy of Square Peg Media.
Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said: “The judges were impressed with the polish and precision of the language, the confidence of the writing and the scope of the work. ‘The Frost Fairs’ isn’t a one-note collection, but one that covers many themes and strikes many chords, from modern transatlantic relationships to hidden gay lives from the past. It’s also surprisingly mature for a first book – a debut which doesn’t feel like a debut.”
The Polari Prize is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English within the twelve months of the deadline for submissions (this year 1st February, 2012). Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission.
The five shortlisted books were:
The Frost Fairs by John McCullogh (Salt)
Becoming Nancy by Terry Ronald (Transworld)
Exit Through The Wound by North Morgan (Limehouse Books)
Ey Up and Away by Vicky Ryder (Wandering Star Press)
Modern Love by Max Wallis (Flap)
The winner of last year’s prize was James Maker for his superb memoir Autofellatio.