Nigerian Ayobami Adebayo and Zambian Kayo Chingonyi have been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2018. Adebayo is on the list for her novel Stay With Me while Chingonyi is there for Kumukanda.
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 New York City.The International Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide in honour of the late Welshman.
The £30,000 Prize is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. Past winners include Fiona McFarlane, Max Porter, Joshua Ferris, Claire Vaye Watkins, Maggie Shipstead, and Rachel Trezise. Yep. No Africans yet.
This year’s judges are Chair of panel historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture Dai Smith, author, publisher and festival director Namita Gokhale, poet, translator and scholar Kurt Heinzelman, playwright, director and award winning writer Paul McVeigh, and award winning novelist and playwright Rachel Trezise.
This year those who are in the running have been announced and there is one name that is very familiar to readers of this blog; Ayobami Adebayo. Adebayo’s debut Stay With Me has been received well all over the world and only yesterday was shortlisted for the 9mobile Prize for African Literature.
A newer name is Kayo Chingonyi who was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. He 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.