Franklin Countys First News

Phillip B. Williams and francine j. harris receive Lambda Literary Awards

FARMINGTON - Alice James Books is pleased to announce that Phillip B. Williams’ Thief in the Interior (January 2016) and francine j. harris’ play dead (April 2016) have been selected as winners for the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in Gay and Lesbian Poetry, respectively.

On Monday, June 12, Lambda Literary, the nation’s leading organization advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature, announced the winners of the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) at a ceremony hosted by multi-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The ceremony brought together attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and twenty-nine years of the groundbreaking literary awards.

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native and the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). Phillip is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Poetry, winner of the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and a finalist for the 2017 Eric Hoffer Award, 2017 Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year Award. He was also nominated for the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Work in Poetry. He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-, Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry, The Southern Review, West Branch and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.


francine j. harris is a 2015 NEA Creative Writing Fellow whose first collection, allegiance, was a finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery and PEN Open Book Award. She is the winner of the 2017 Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry as well as the 2017 Lambda Literary Awards for Lesbian Poetry and a finalist for the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry. Originally from Detroit, she is also Cave Canem fellow who has lived in several cities before returning to Michigan. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and currently teaches writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Founded in 1973, Alice James Books is a leading independent press of national reputation dedicated to discovering and publishing exceptional poetry. The press continues to grow its list and is seen as an innovator in the field. AJB is committed to publishing a range of voices, supporting writers' careers, and publishing women and other writers whose work may otherwise be marginalized. AJB also focuses on collaborating with writers in the publishing process, namely design and production. As they urgently engage with numerous pressing, public issues, many AJB books reach far beyond the "standard audience" for poetry. Since 1994, AJB has been a proud affiliate of the University of Maine at Farmington.

For more information about Alice James Books and our partnership with the University of Maine at Farmington, please visit:

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