Novuyo Rose Tshuma

The Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2019 shortlist was announced today on April 2, 2019. On the list is Novuyo Rosa Tshuma for her novel House of Stone.

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. The £30,000 Prize would be awarded 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, the first African would win the prize with Zambia’s Kayo Chingonyi going home with the honours for his poetry collection Kumukanda.

The judging panel for the prize this year is chaired by Professor Dai Smith CBE, Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. It also features poet, translator, and scholar, Professor Kurt Heinzelman; books editor of BBC Radio, Di Speirs and award-winning author and founding member of Leather Lane Writers and Oxford Narrative Group, Kit de Waal.

On the shortlist that had been announced Prof Dai Smith said that it had “uncovered a wealth of new talent representing a group of contemporary and diverse voices from across the world. They are linked by a passion for individual sensibilities against a backdrop of history; sometimes violent, always life changing.”

Those who make the cut from the longlist announced in January are;

  • Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, House of Stone (Atlantic Books).
  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US) and Riverrun (UK).
  • Zoe Gilbert, Folk (Bloomsbury Publishing).
  • Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press, Headline).
  • Louisa Hall, Trinity (Ecco).
  • Sarah Perry, Melmoth (Serpent’s Tail).

The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 16 at Swansea University’s Great Hall, just after International Dylan Thomas Day on May 14.

Update: The prize this year was won by Guy Gunaratne for In Our Mad and Furious City.