The Dylan Thomas Prize 2018 winner described as having an “original and distinctive voice” is Kayo Chingonyi. He goes home with the UK pounds 30,000 prize money.
The Dylan Thomas Prize is a prize for young writers in honour of the Welsh writer and poet Dylan Thomas presented annually. The prize worth £30,000 is open to published writers in the English language under the age of forty. Previous winners of the prize include Rachel Trezis (2006), Nam Le (2008), Elyse Fenton (2010), Lucy Caldwell (2011), Maggie Shipstead (2012), Claire Vaye Watkins (2013), Joshua Ferris (2014), Max Porter (2016), and Fiona McFarlane (2017).
This year the longlist included entries from two African writers in Ayobami Adebayo for her novel Stay With Me and Kayo Chingonyi for Kumukanda. The winner would be announced last night in Wales and the winner is Kayo Chingonyi. Chingonyi’s Kumukanda explores black masculinity and rites of passage for young black men in Britain, and is a “bold exploration” of what it means to be black, male and British today.
“I’m staggered,” said Mr Chingonyi on the big win. “It’s wonderful to receive an award in the name of Dylan Thomas, whose work was introduced to me by a really inspirational teacher by the name of Rachel Baroni who introduced me to Under Milk Wood and I’ve been fascinated by his work since then.”
Apart from Kumukanda, the newest award winner is the author of two pamphlets, and a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry. In 2012, he was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 2015.