Kai Cheng Thom, the Toronto writer, performance artist, psychotherapist, and Everyday Feminism feature writer, has been named winner of this year’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers, administered by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Awarded on June 4, the annual $4,000 prize recognizes literary promise from an emerging writer who is part of Canada’s LGBTQ community. Thom is author of the 2016 novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars (Metonymy Press) and the 2017 poetry collection A Place Called No Homeland (Arsenal Pulp Press).
Author jury members Jane Eaton Hamilton, Elio Iannacci, and Trish Salah stated in a press release: “Kai Cheng Thom’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars is a delicious and fabulist refashioning of a trans memoir as fiction. It is a cacophonous coming-of-age story and a genre-breaking refusal of the idea that the only stories trans people have to tell are their autobiographies. Her poems in A Place Called No Homeland are jelly-tender, tough as knives. They ride the borderland into and through trauma, relationships, love, and power, and carry us out deepened and changed over to the other side. Thom’s work is sheer joyful exuberance, creativity, and talent.”