Another lively Lammy night

This was our 9th Lammy ceremony, all without wearing the same outfit twice.

This was our 9th Lammy ceremony, all without either of us wearing the same outfit twice.

I’m back from New York, where we celebrated another year of excellence in LGBT literature. If you’ve never made it to a Lammy ceremony, I urge you to put it on your calendar. Whether you’re a finalist or not, a winner or not, you can’t help but be swept up in the excitement of the night. The squeals, the giggles, the exuberant gushing of gratitude to everyone everywhere who ever made a book possible — it’s infectious and inspirational, and it’s all about the winners!

Poet Eileen Myles received our Pioneer Award; and in turn, she honored us with a debut reading of her newest work. New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als collected a Trustee Award from his dear friend, writer/actor Tavi Gevinson in a moment of unabashed love and joy. We also honored Judith A. Markowitz Emerging Writers Bryan Borland and JP Howard, and celebrated the return of our Publishing Professional Award, which was presented to Lisa C. Moore of RedBone Press. Oh, and we handed out Lammys for the year’s best books in 26 categories. A big thank-you to gala producer/director Charles Rice-Gonzalez — on a night when everything that could have gone wrong didn’t! And to the ever-hilarious Kate Clinton for knitting it all together.

Then we got down to business. On the morning after the awards ceremony, the board gathered in a conference room at NYU for its annual meeting. Those are always invigorating, as we recap the year and plan for the next, always leaving with a deeper sense of dedication to our mission to affirm LGBT lives by seeing to it that our stories are written, published and read. I was elected president for a second term, joined on the executive committee by Amy Scholder (VP), John Rochester (Treasurer) and Denise Penn (Secretary).

One more bit I want to share, and this is a shout-out to the very special people who lend leadership and funding security to our organization — board members, past board members, staff and major donors. Not all of them could make it to New York this year, but we had a good showing at our dinner on Sunday night.

Jerome Murphy, Amy Scholder, David Groff, William Johnson, Tony Valenzuela, Chris Shirley

Jerome Murphy (board), Amy Scholder (board), David Groff (board), William Johnson (Program Director), Tony Valenzuela (Executive Director), Chris Shirley (past president)

Judith & her partner Susan Franz with Judith A. Markowitz Emerging Writer Award winners Bryan Borland & JP Howard

Past president Judith Markowitz & her partner Susan Franz with Markowitz Emerging Writer Award winners Bryan Borland & JP Howard

LA staffer Kyle Sawyer with our newest board member Mischa Haider

LA staffer Kyle Sawyer with our newest board member Mischa Haider

Tamika Butler (Board), Ella Bureau (Awards Administrator), Monica Carter (Writers in the Schools coordinator), Jan Zivic (board)

Tamika Butler (board), Ella Bureau (Awards Administrator), Monica Carter (Writers in the Schools coordinator), Jan Zivic (board)

Lawrence Fodor, John Rochester

Lawrence Fodor (major donor), John Rochester (board)

Susan Atkins-Weathers (past vice-president/major donor), Virginia D. Fielder (major donor)

Susan Atkins-Weathers (past vice-president), Virginia D. Fielder (major donor)

With my friend and former board member Ellery Washington

With my friend and former board member Ellery Washington

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