Nathan Harris, Caleb Azumah Nelson, and Brandon Taylor are on the shortlist for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2022 announced today, March 31, 2022.
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. The International Dylan Thomas Prize aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide was set up by Swansea University in his honour. 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 include Fiona McFarlane, Max Porter, Joshua Ferris, Claire Vaye Watkins, Maggie Shipstead, and Rachel Trezise. In 2018, Kayo Chingonyi went home with the honours while Raven Leilani won the 2021 edition.
The 2022 jury for the award is chaired by co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and award-winning author Namita Gokhale. She is joined by a panel of novelist, playwright, and winner of the 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize Rachel Trezise, celebrated Poet and novelist Luke Kennard who recently won the 2021 Forward poetry prize, novelist and Swansea University lecturer Alan Bilton, and Nigerian British author Irenosen Okojie.
This panel announced the twelve-strong longlist on February 3 before the shortlist was announced today.
Namita Gokhale, Chair of Judges, said: “The longlist for the 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize was one of the strongest ever. The jury has whittled this down to a shortlist that is riveting and compelling on so many levels. It presents a rich diversity of accomplished young and debut voices, and their explorations of the poetic, the historical, and the contemporary.”
The shortlist of six features the following three writers of African descent;
- The Sweetness of Water, Nathan Harris (Tinder Press/Headline)
- Open Water, Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking, Penguin General)
- Filthy Animals, Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing)
The winner will be revealed at a ceremony n Swansea on May 12, two days before International Dylan Thomas Day.