And the award for savage wit goes to …

From The Independent:

MaxTomorrow night, the winner of the Polari Prize for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) debut authors will be announced at London's South Bank Centre. Tomorrow also marks the fifth birthday of the monthly literary salon that gave the prize its name. The prize is the brainchild of Paul Burston, the editor of the gay section of Time Out magazine and the flamboyant MC of the salon. As a novelist himself, the author of The Gay Divorcee, Star People and other books examining and satirising contemporary gay life, Burston is acutely conscious of the difficulties facing LGBT authors in a tough commercial climate.

…If there's one sweeping generalisation to be made about queer writing (I've been a judge for two years running), it is that it's often savagely funny. Judge a mainstream literary prize and you'll be overwhelmed by dark themes and sombre writing. This year's Polari shortlistees are North Morgan, a bitterly funny satirist in his London club novel Exit Through the Wound (Limehouse Books); the music producer Terry Ronald's Becoming Nancy (Transworld), a deliciously camp rites of passage novel; and Vicky Ryder's rollicking Ey Up and Away (Wandering Star Press), a series of almost poem-like vignettes about growing up in Nuneaton. But perhaps even more surprising is the discovery of two strong poetic voices in John McCullough (Frost Fairs, published by Salt) and Max Wallis (Modern Love, published by Flap). The elfin Wallis has an unusual day job for a poet: when I caught up with him, he had just got back from a modelling assignment in Paris. He's also unusual in his choice of inspiration: the Victorian poet George Meredith who also penned a poem sequence called Modern Love. (Also something of a model, Meredith posed for the famous Pre-Raphaelite painting The Death of Chatterton.)

…Modern Love by Max Wallis:

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“… A final glance. Sigh as the door slams a wooden tongue. Do not look back as dawn carries her torch across the sky; he will stay. Tarmac claps footsteps toward day and then, within, something out loud to the world that he will never hear; 'I am sorry, you know'.”

More here.

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