Kwame Dawes, Boris Boubacar Diop are the writers of African descent on the finalists list of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2022 revealed on June 15, 2021.

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by the United States’ University of Oklahoma and its international literary publication, World Literature Today. The prize for adult literature, worth $50,000, is awarded to a living writer anywhere in any genre. First given in 1970 to Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, it has been won by Nuruddin Farah (1998), Mia Couto (2014), and Edwige Danticat (2018). Aminatta Forna and Abdellatif Laâbi have been finalists.

The jury for this year has the following individuals; Jennifer Croft, Tarfia Faizullah, Hamid Ismailov, Fowzia Karimi, Eleni Kefala, R. O. Kwon, Carlos Labbé, Carlos Pintado, Matthew Shenoda, and Olga Zilberbourg. This panel revealed the nominees for the 2022 Neustadt Prize which included the following writers of African descent;

  • Kwame Dawes (Ghana / Jamaica), Prophets
  • Boris Boubacar Diop (Senegal), Murambi: The Book of Bones

“This jury continues the tradition of having top-tier international writers assessing the work of peers,” said Robert Con Davis-Undiano, executive director of World Literature Today, the prize sponsor. “Literature is a key component of our ability to recognize what makes us human, and the work of the Neustadt jury year after year is a contemporary tribute to the critical place that literature has in our lives.”

The winner announcement will be made on Tuesday, October 26, during the Neustadt Lit Fest, which this year also honors Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee), laureate of the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.