April 1, 2010 – The Lambda Literary Foundation has named Larry Kramer and Kate Clinton as this year’s recipients of its Pioneer Award, to be presented at the Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony on May 27th, 2010 in New York City.

The Lambda Literary Foundation bestows its Pioneer Award on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing. Established in 1995, the Award honors those who, through their achievements and passionate commitment, have contributed to the LGBT literary community in significant and tangible ways: through works of literature, or by establishing publishing houses, publications, archives, bookstores, or other institutions.

This year’s Pioneers are powerhouse trailblazers in the LGBT community as writers, commentators and unstoppable activists. “There are very few individuals in our LGBT community whose enormous talent, political consciousness and professional achievement have had as great an impact as those of Larry and Kate,” says Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director. “We are thrilled to honor their enormous contributions to our community at the Awards ceremony in May.

“Over the years,” comments LLF Board President Katherine V. Forrest, “the voices of these two extraordinary Pioneers have rung through our literature and our culture to combat the forces aligned against us–Larry Kramer with his relentless and necessary rage and confrontation, Kate Clinton with her exhilarating, surgical wit that continues to heal us with laughter. It will be a joy to raise our own voices in honor and celebration of these two great individuals.”

2010 Pioneer Award Recipient Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer
Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer is the co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, in 1982, the first organization anywhere to deal with the plague of AIDS, and the founder, in 1987, of ACT UP. All major treatments for HIV/AIDS are available today primarily because of ACT UP chapters around the world. His play, The Normal Heart, was named as one of the 100 Best Plays of the Twentieth Century by Great Britain’s National Theatre and is the longest running production in the history of New York’s Public Theater. He is the author of the novel Faggots. His other plays include The Destiny of Me, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won an Obie and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play. Kramer’s screenplay adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, a film he also produced, was nominated for an Academy Award. He is a recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was the first openly gay person and the first creative artist to be honored by an award from Common Cause. His two volumes of political writings are Reports from the holocaust: the story of an AIDS activist and The Tragedy of Today’s Gays. His attempt to establish the Larry Kramer Initiative for the study of gay history at Yale was, for him, a painful failure. Since 1978 he has been writing a very long novel about the plague, The American People, which, at some 4000 pages, has just been acquired for publication by Farrar Straus and Giroux, which will bring it out in two volumes. Kramer has been HV+ since 1985. In 2001 he was the lucky recipient of a liver transplant, which saved his life. He lives in New York and Connecticut with his longtime partner, architect/designer David Webster, who is also the new owner of the Dallas Eagle bar. In June Kramer will be 75 years old. He comments, “Who knew?”

2010 Pioneer Award Recipient Kate Clinton

Kate Clinton
Kate Clinton

Kate Clinton is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer. With a career spanning almost thirty years, Kate Clinton has worked through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and eight presidential inaugurals. She still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime, scoundrel time and economic down times.

Kate has performed nationally since 1981 from Joe’s Pub in New York City to the Park West in Chicago to the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and back to New York for several off-Broadway runs, with hundreds of comedy club dates in between.

Her new, third book I Told You So is a hilarious, bittersweet, politically acute survival guide. It was the recipient of the Best Non-Fiction Book by Cherry Grrl Readers Choice Awards and is a finalist in Foreword Magazine’s Humor Book Of The Year Award. Her second book, What The L? is a laugh-out-loud, Lambda Literary Award nominated (2005) collection of dangerous humor from one of the all-time-favorite lesbian comics living under one of the all-time-worst presidents.

As an actress, humorist, panelist and host, Kate has worked with some of the great writers and performers of our time. Kate participated in a staged reading of Tony Kushner’s play, SLAVS at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Kate was a panelist in a public discussion Satire in America and hosted an evening at The Kennedy Center when Richard Pryor received the first-ever Mark Twain Award. Kate has taught humor writing at the prestigious Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She lectures widely on humor and the uses of humor in cultural change.

Kate has emceed hundreds of fundraising dinners and events which have raised millions of dollars for The National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Ms. Foundation, the New York City LGBT Community Center, the Gill Foundation, and the STREB dance lab to name a few. She has received awards from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and at the 2007 GLAAD Media Awards, Kate Clinton was presented with the Pioneer Award. In 2009 Kate was presented with SAGE’s Ken Dawson Advocacy Award.

“Kate Clinton has held the mirror that reflects every single issue that has faced us for the last 25 years. We’ve laughed with her, we’ve cried with her, and we’ve been changed by her,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Her current show LADY HAHA is touring the U.S. and Canada.

Previous Recipients of Lambda Literary Pioneer Award

L. Page “Deacon” Maccubbin, Lambda Rising (1995)
Helaine Harris, Daedalus Books (1996)
Ron Hanby, Bookazine (1997)
Katherine V. Forrest (1998)
Astraea Foundation (2001)
Barbara Grier, Naiad Press (2002)
Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (2003)
Samuel R. Delany (2004)
Blanche Wiesen Cook (2004)
Martin Duberman (2007)
Marijane Meaker (2007)
Ann Bannon (2008)
Malcolm Boyd (2008)
Mark Thompson (2008)
Leslie Feinberg (2009)

The Violet Quill, featuring Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano & Edmund White (2009)

Finalists announced for the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards

March 16, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Lambda Literary Foundation announces Finalists for the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2009.

Eighty-seven booksellers, book reviewers, librarians and authors assessed 462 LGBT-interest titles nominated in 23 categories, selecting 113 finalists from both queer-specific presses and academic and more mainstream publishers. [Full list of 2009 Finalists here.]

“This has been a record year for queer books,” said the 2009 Lambda Awards Administrator, Richard Labonté, who has been associated with the Lammys since their inception in 1989 as a judge and consultant. “The number of titles nominated and the number of publishers represented is in both cases about 10 per cent higher than last year.”

And, for the first time, the single catchall Bisexual category — after reaching a threshold of 10 nominated titles in both fiction and nonfiction – has matured into two distinct categories, Bisexual Fiction and Bisexual Nonfiction.

“In a year of challenge and change for writers and publishers — and for the Foundation — the hundreds of books submitted for nomination illustrate the continuing dynamism of our literature,” said Lambda Foundation Board President Katherine V. Forrest. “This year’s Lambda Literary Award Finalists and the quality of their work speak eloquently to the richness and range of our literature.”

Reflecting the impact of self-publishing and publish-on-demand technology, more titles from non-traditional sources than ever were nominated, and several were selected as finalists, said Labonté. In addition, the Lammy contenders for 2010 continue the tradition of celebrating the best of both the LGBT community’s specifically queer presses, and queer-themed books from academic and more mainstream publishers.

Winners will be announced at the 22nd Annual Awards, May 27 in New York at the School of Visual Arts Theater, 333 West 23rd Street. For tickets and information: www.lambdaliterary.org.

“I’m proud of the extraordinary talent of the writers represented by the Lammy finalists this year,” said Lambda Executive Director Tony Valenzuela. “And to all the readers out there wondering what LGBT books to read next, take a look at this stellar list of nominees – or check out the new reviews that are being posted on the revised and expanded lambdaliterary.org web site — and go shopping. Support our authors and publishers: they are to be congratulated.”

About the Lambda Literary Foundation: The Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. LLF’s programs include: the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, and our website, www.LambdaLiterary.org.

CONTACT:
Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director
Lambda Literary Foundation
323-936-5876
604-608-5463 – Fax
info@lambdaliterary.org

Richard Labonté
2009 Lambda Awards Administrator
lammys2009@gmail.com



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