Rainbow Awards/Elisa Reviews: Picks of the Year

Recently Elisa Reviews (who sponsors the Rainbow Awards) asked my opinion on a best book for 2014.

My GLBTQ reading pick of the year is editor Douglas Ray’s The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South, published by Sibling Rivalry Press out of Arkansas. Full disclaimer: I have two poems in the collection. But don’t read it for me; the work overall is a fine mix of poetry and provocative essays from stellar authors (Dorothy Allison, Matthew Hittinger, D. Gilson, Jeff Mann, Valerie Wetlaufer, and more) who question what it is to be a southerner in the 21st century. It’s a must-read for anyone who was raised there or lives there, especially if he or she is still coming to terms with the joys and strictures of a southern past.

Kelly McQuain‘s Velvet Rodeo won the Bloom chapbook award. His writing on the Elf on the Shelf controversy recently appeared at the Good Men Project.

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Velvet Rodeo scores with Rainbow Awards judges

This week I learned Velvet Rodeo did very well in the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, winning 2nd place in the Best LGBT Poetry category and 5th in the much larger overall Best Gay Book Award competition–the only poetry book to make that list, I believe. More than 520 books were in play this year in various categories, with almost 170 judges from all over the world. The fact that a small book of poetry did so well in a mixed-genre competition especially comes as a nice surprise to me.

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Elisa Reviews sponsors the awards as a fundraising event for LGBT charities. The pic below contains some of the judges’ comments, and a pic of the overall winning book by Benjamin Law. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up.

BEST GAY BOOK
Rainbow Book Awards
1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Runners Up:
2. The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
3. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C. Author
4. Silent by Sara Alva
5. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
6. Think of England by KJ Charles
7. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
8. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
9. Corruption by Eden Winters
10. Cub by Jeff Mann

Best LGBT Poetry
1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Runners Up:
2. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
3. Souvenir Boys by David-Matthew Barnes

A complete list of winners in all the many categories is at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4489098.html

Rainbow Awards Judges’ Comments:
Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
Publisher: Bloom Books

“A master at imagery. Beautiful work.”

“An intricately structured set of images and perceptions laid forth in sensual, evocative language. Gorgeous.”

“An enthralling, engrossing collection of poems that will involve its reader on many levels of interest.”

https://kellymcquain.wordpress.com/order-velvet-rodeo-poems/

#phillypoetry #poetry #LGBTQ #philadelphiapoets #rainbowawards

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