Warsan Shire, Okwiri Oduor, Arinze Ifeakandu and Derek Owusu are on the longlist for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2023 announced.
Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer who became widely popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death at the age of 39. In his honour, the International Dylan Thomas Prize aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide was set up by Swansea University. The £20,000 Prize is awarded annually to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.
Past winners of the award included Fiona McFarlane, Max Porter, Joshua Ferris, Claire Vaye Watkins, Maggie Shipstead and Rachel Trezise. In 2018, Kayo Chingonyi went home with the honours for his poetry collection Kumukanda.
The jury this year is chaired by esteemed British producer and Books Editor for BBC Radio Di Speirs, alongside prize-winning Welsh author and lecturer in English at Swansea University, Jon Gower, American bestselling author and 2012 winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize winner Maggie Shipstead, British poet and the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, Rachel Long, and Nepali Indian author and 2013 Prize shortlistee Prajwal Parajuly.
The longlist shared today featuring twelve writers with four of African descent and they and their genre of writing is; God’s Children Are Little Broken Things, Arinze Ifeakandu (Orion, Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – short story collection; Things They Lost, Okwiri Oduor (Oneworld) – novel; Losing the Plot, Derek Owusu (Canongate Books) – novel; Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, Warsan Shire (Chatto & Windus) – poetry collection.
Derek Owusu tweeted, “So happy that my second novel, Losing the Plot, has been long listed for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize, along side some amazing books!”
The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist will be announced on Thursday 23 March followed by the winner’s ceremony held in Swansea on Thursday 11 May, prior to International Dylan Thomas Day on Sunday 14 May.