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Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Wins 2020 Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Wins 2020 Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction

Author: Brian Gentes

May 13, 2020

Lambda Literary is pleased to announce that Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha has been named the winner of the 2020 Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction.

The award, given in memory of the beloved activist and author Jeanne Córdova, honors lesbian/queer-identified women and trans/gender non-conforming nonfiction authors. It is awarded to a writer committed to nonfiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian/queer life, culture and/or history.

The Córdova prize judges chose Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha as the winner for the 2020 prize from an exciting group of talented lesbian/queer non-fiction writers. From the judges:

We selected Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha as the winner of the Jeanne Córdova Prize this year for her specific voice, and a body of work written to ensure that lesbian/queer lives are not erased. Her writing about QTPOC communities and femme and queer disabled realities is breathtaking and immediate. And her forthcoming work shows that she continues to be committed to producing groundbreaking lesbian/queer nonfiction.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer, cultural worker, and educator of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. They are the author of ​Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (short-listed for the Lambda and Publishing Triangle Awards, ALA Above the Rainbow List), ​Bodymap ​(shortlisted for the Publishing Triangle Award), ​Love Cake ​(Lambda Literary Award winner), and ​Consensual Genocide​, and co-editor of ​The​ ​Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. Their latest book, ​Beyond Survival: Stories and Strategies From the Transformative Justice Movement (co-edited with Ejeris Dixon​) ​was published in January. A lead artist with Sins Invalid, her writing has been widely published, with recent work in PBS Newshour,’s Poetry and the Body folio, ​The Deaf Poets Society, Bitch, Self, TruthOut​ and ​The Body is Not an Apology.​ She is a VONA Fellow and holds an MFA from Mills College. She is also a rust belt poet, a Sri Lankan with a white mom, a femme over 40, a grassroots intellectual, a survivor who is hard to kill.

The award was introduced in 2018 and includes a cash prize of $2,500.

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About: Brian Gentes

Brian Gentes is Lambda Literary's awards manager.

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