We are proud to announce that Documents by Jan-Henry Gray has been named a finalist for the Publishing Triangle's 2019 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry! The finalists were announced on Twitter this afternoon, March 16, 2020.
Jan-Henry Gray's Documents was selected by D.A. Powell as the winner of the 17th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Rooted in the experience of living in America as a queer undocumented Filipino, Documents maps the byzantine journey toward citizenship through legal records and fragmented recollections. In poems that repurpose the forms and procedures central to an immigrant’s experiences—birth certificates, identification cards, letters, and interviews—Jan-Henry Gray reveals the narrative limits of legal documentation while simultaneously embracing the intersections of identity, desire, heritage, love, and a new imagining of freedom.
Jan-Henry Gray was born in Quezon City, Philippines, and moved to California with his family when he was six years old. He lived undocumented in the U.S. for more than 32 years. He received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and his MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. He is the recipient of the inaugural Undocupoets Fellowship, the 2014 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute Fellowship, and the 2016 Lannan Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His work has appeared in The Rumpus, Poetry Foundation, Poets.org, Tupelo Quarterly, Colorado Review, Fourteen Hills, New City, Puerto del Sol, Southern Humanities Review, Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and other journals. He lives in New York City with his husband.
The Thom Gunn Award is an annual literary award, presented by Publishing Triangle to honor work of gay male poetry. First presented in 2001 as the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry, the award was renamed in memory of American poet Thom Gunn, the award's first winner, following his death in 2004. Previous finalists for the Thom Gunn Award from BOA Editions include Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen, and Trouble the Water by Derrick Austin. A full list of finalists can be found at www.publishingtriangle.org.
The Publishing Triangle will announce the winners of the Thom Gunn Award, along with six additional Publishing Triangle Literary Awards, at a ceremony honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2019, will be presented on April 30, 2020, at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School’s University Center (63 Fifth Avenue in New York City) at 7 p.m. Co-hosted by the Creative Writing Program, the ceremony is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.
On April 29, the evening before the awards ceremony, the Publishing Triangle will sponsor a reading by a select group of finalists; this event will be held at Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, the bookstore inside the LGBT Community Services Center at 208 West 13th Street, Manhattan. The lineup of participating finalists will be announced later. This reading, which will begin at 7 p.m., is free, and books by the readers will be sold.
Update 3/18: After consulting with local public health officials in NYC regarding the ongoing response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Publishing Triangle announced today that both the finalists' reading on April 29 and the live ceremony on April 30 have been canceled. The winners of this year's Publishing Triangle Awards will be announced on their website on April 30.