ALA announces 2002 GLBT-RT award winners

Contact:Paige Wasson


For Immediate Release

January 21, 2002

ALA announces 2002 GLBT-RT award winners

"The Laramie Project," "The Scarlet Professor" top list

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table (GLBT-RT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce their 2002 book award winners in Literature and Nonfiction. Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project win the literature award for their play, "The Laramie Project" (Vintage). Barry Werth wins the 2002 Nonfiction Award for "The Scarlet Professor" (Nan Talese/Doubleday).

The masterfully edited "Laramie Project" was written as a play, but succeeds as literature. Exploring the events surrounding the murder of Mathew Shepard, the drama allows the townspeople and participants to speak for themselves through interviews and moments captured by the members of the Tectonic Theatre Project in several visits to Laramie, Wyo.

"I found this a captivating read - one I did not want to put down," said Committee Chair John Bradford (Villa Park Public Library, Ill.) "The use of the theatrical moment to capture the essence of an individual or an events worked as well here as in an impressionist painting."

"The Scarlet Professor" unearths an important part of GLBT history. In addition to detailing the life and struggle of Newton Arvin, a prominent scholar of American literature, this book describes the puritanical crusade by police and the U.S. Postal Service that let the arrest of Arvin and two other Smith College professors for possessing "obscene" materials.

Ann More (University of Massachusetts), past chair of the award committee, remarks, "The impact of this beautifully written and well-researched work can, in part, be measured by the decision of the current Smith College Board of Trustees 'to explore appropriate responses by the college' regarding the dismissal of the professors involved in the case."

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Book Awards are the oldest book awards of their kind in the United States, first given in 1971. The awards consist of a plaque and monetary prize. They will be presented at the ALA 2002 Annual Conference in Atlanta.

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