Lawrence Schimel

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Lawrence Schimel, 2008

Lawrence Schimel (born October 16, 1971) is a bilingual (Spanish/English) American writer, translator, and anthologist working in many genres, including poetry, fantasy and science fiction, and children's books, whose work frequently deals with gay and lesbian themes, and with Jewish themes.[1] He was born in New York City, and received his B.A. in Literature from Yale University.[2] Schimel is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Academy of American Poets. His is a founding member of the Publishing Triangle, an organization of lesbians and gay men in the publishing industry, which he chaired for two terms (1996–1998). As well as a writer, he is a prolific translator to and from Spanish.[3]

His work has received the Rhysling Award[4] and has twice received the Lambda Literary Award.[5]

In 2021, Schimel's rainbow family board books - Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! - caused controversy in Hungary, with a Hungarian bookseller being fined for selling these books, on the grounds that putting books depicted same-sex couples was an unfair commercial practice, as "[C]ontent which deviates from the norm.... The book was there among other fairytale books and thus committed a violation," Pest County Commissioner Richard Tarnai said. "There is no way of knowing that this book is about a family that is different than a normal family."[6][7]

He is Jewish and identifies as a post-Zionist.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • 1998 - Lambda Award for Best Transgender Book for PoMoSexuals - winner
  • 1998 - Lambda Award for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy for The Drag Queen of Elfland - finalist
  • 1999 - Lambda Award for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy for Things Invisible to See - finalist
  • 1998 - Lambda Award for Best Non Fiction Anthology for PoMoSexuals - finalist
  • 1999 - Lambda Award for Best Non Fiction Anthology for Found Tribe - finalist
  • 1999 - Lambda Award for Best Fiction Anthology for MBO Gay Erotica - finalist
  • 2001 - Lambda Award for Best Fiction Anthology for Kosher Meat - finalist
  • 2002 - Lambda Award for Best LGBT Erotica Book for His Tongue - finalist
  • 2002 - Winner of the Rhysling Award for best long poem[9]


  • 2003 - Lambda Award for Best LGBT Erotica Book for MBO New Gay Erotica - finalist
  • 2003 - Lambda Award for Best Spirituality for Found Tribe - finalist
  • 2004 - Lambda Award for Best Visual Arts/Photography for Vacation in Ibiza - finalist
  • 2005 - O hay nada como el original - selected by the International Youth Library, Munich, as a White Ravens Book[10]
  • 2007 - Lambda Award for Best Romance for Two Boys in Love - finalist


  • 2008 - Lambda Award for Best LGBT Anthologies for First Person Queer - winner
  • 2010 - Lambda Award for Best Gay Erotica for I Like it Like That - finalist


  • 2019 - Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Fiction (as translator) for La Bastarda - finalist
  • 2019 - Schimel's translation of Sofía Rhei's poem embalmed won the 2019 Dwarf Stars Award[11] (the first time a poem in translation won any of the awards from the SFPA)
  • 2020 - Schimel's picture book Qué suerte tengo!, translated into Maltese by Clare Azzopardi, was a finalist for the National Book Award[12] (The Maltese title is: Meta Mmur għand Sieħbi Carlos[13])
  • 2020 - Schimel's translation of Some Days by María Wernicke (AmazonCrossing) was chosen as a 2021 USBBY Outstanding International title by the United States Board on Books for Youth[14] and as a Notable Translation of 2020 by World Literature Today[15]
  • Schimel's translation of Poems the Wind Blew In, by Karmelo C. Iribarren (The Emma Press) won an PEN Translates Award (EnglishPEN)[16] and a Highly Commended Award from the CLiPPA (the first time a work in translation has ever won)[17]
  • PEN Translates Award (EnglishPEN) for Voice of the Two Shores by Agnès Agboton (flipped eye publishing)[18]
  • Schimel's translation of Carmen Boullosa's poetry collection Hatchet (White Pine Press) won the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation[19]
  • Schimel's translation of The Day Saida Arrived was a finalist for the Jane Addams Children's Book Award (the only translated title that was a finalist out of all the categories that year)[20]
  • Schimel's translation of Impure Acts by Ángelo Néstore (Indolent Books) was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle[21]


Short stories[edit]

Short Story Collections[edit]

  • The Drag Queen of Elfland (Circlet)
  • His Tongue
  • Two Boys in Love
  • Una barba para dos

Poetry Collections[edit]

  • Fairy Tales for Writers (A Midsummer Nights Press)
  • Deleted Names (A Midsummer Nights Press)
  • Desayuno en la cama

Graphic Novels[edit]

  • Vacation in Ibiza (Nbm)

Edited works[edit]

Children's Books[edit]

Schimel has written over sixty children's books, including:

- Both of these books feature same-sex families and have also been published in Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Galician, Latvian, German, Italian, French, Romansh, Russian, Welsh, and Hungarian.

  • Read a Book With Me
  • Let's Go See Papá!
  • ¡Qué suerte tengo!, by Lawrence Schimel, illus .by Juan Camilo Mayorga (Rey Naranjo) - chosen by IBBY for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities


Translations into English[edit]

  • The Wild Book by Juan Villoro (Restless Books, USA; HopeRoad Publishing, UK)
  • Monteverde: Memoirs of an Interstellar Linguist by Lola Robles (Aqueduct)
  • I Offer My Heart as a Target, by Johanny Vázquez Paz - winner of the Paz Prize (poetry)
  • Out In the Open, by Jesús Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero) - graphic novel, nominated for Eisner Award[23]
  • Buñuel: In the Labyrinth of Turtles, by Fermín Solis (SelfMadeHero)
  • La Bastarda, by Trifonia Melibea Obono

Translations into Spanish[edit]

  • Collective Amnesia Koleka Putuma [with Arate Hidalgo]
  • Nos llamaron enemigo, graphic novel memoir by George Takei (Top Shelf)[24]
  • Bluets, by Maggie Nelson (Tres Puntos)[25] - the cover story for Babelia, the cultural supplement of El País (Maggie Nelson: “Una ventaja de ser mujer es llevar el canon a tu terreno”)
  • El Arte de la Crueldad, by Maggie Nelson (Tres Puntos)
  • Tú Eres Tú, by Richard Van Camp & Julie Flett (Orca)[26]


  1. ^ Karvoski, Ed; Jr. (2002-03-14). Award-Winning Men: Up Close and Personal with Gay Honorees. iUniverse. pp. 149–. ISBN 978-0-595-21769-4. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Paying It Forward: A Conversation with Lawrence Schimel". The 2019-09-18. Retrieved 2020-01-11.
  3. ^ "Lawrence Schimel". Restless Books. Retrieved 2020-01-11.
  4. ^ "". Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2011. External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ "2011 Judges". Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Hungary issues fine over book featuring 'rainbow families'". 7 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Hungary fines distributor over selling Lawrence Schimel kid's book with same-sex parents". 7 July 2021.
  8. ^ New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora By Caryn S. Aviv, David Shneer, Professor David Shneer p.112
  9. ^ "Rhysling Award".
  10. ^
  11. ^ "2019 Dwarf Stars and Elgin Awards Winners". 30 September 2019.
  12. ^ "National Book Prize and Terramaxka 2020 – the longlist | Kunsill Nazzjonali Tal-Ktieb". 3 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Meta mmur għand sieħbi Carlos".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2020, by Michelle Johnson". 14 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Poems the Wind Blew in".
  17. ^ ;
  18. ^ "PEN Translates awards announced".
  19. ^ "Hatchet by Carmen Boullosa".
  20. ^ "2020 Finalists for Younger Children".
  21. ^ "The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry".
  22. ^ Raphael, Mitchel (May 17, 1998). "Where gay goes after the mainstream". Toronto Star. p. 1. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  23. ^ (
  24. ^
  25. ^ Bluets.
  26. ^ "Tú eres tú".

External links[edit]