A statement from Jodie Lancet-Grant, founder and chair of the Polari Prize for Children's and YA Books -
"Everyone at the Polari Prize was devastated to hear of the passing of Children's and YA category judge, Emerson Milford Dickson this week.
Emerson was incredibly passionate about children's books and did so much to highlight the importance of diversity in children's publishing. He deeply understood how important it is that children see themselves and their families in the books that they read, and he dedicated so much of himself to furthering that mission.
We were privileged to have him as a judge on the inaugural Children's and YA Polari Prize. His knowledge, empathy and unmatched ability to express how much a book had affected him were central to this year's winners' selection."