I was surprised—in a wonderful way!—when Teri Clarke and I received the Joseph S Pulver Sr (bEastie) award. My acceptance was short and garbled. I wanted to take a moment to give a proper acceptance speech.
When I was a child, my father used to sing the Jazz standard “Nature Boy” to me, which starts with “There was a boy…a strange enchanted boy….”. He accurately predicted the ambience about my fiction. I write about strange enchanted people who are confronted with transcendence, in often terrifying ways.
So, I would like to first thank my parents, who are departed but when they lived they supported my writing, even when it wasn’t lucrative.
Then I would like to thank my family, both immediate and far flung. They’ve been my cheerleaders.
Thank you to my publishers—Lethe, Rebel Satori, Word Horde, Underland and numerous periodicals and anthologies for taking a chance on my stories about enchanted people.
Thanks to the Outer Dark, who are a pocket universe of people who celebrate contemporary Weird Fiction. That pocket universe has extended to include Necronomicon itself. Though Lovecraft himself would definitely not approve of my Blackness and Queerness, the community built around his legacy has been nothing but supportive of me and my work.
I only knew Joseph Pulver through email and DMs, when he edited a story of mine. The DMs in my inbox show a kind and enthusiastic man.
It is truly an honor to accept this award. Thank you all and everyone who have been touched by my writing!