There are five writers of African descent on the Windham-Campbell Prize 2021 list announced on March 22, 2021.

The Windham-Campbell Prize was established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell.  English language writers from anywhere in the world are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously for the prize worth US$165,000 for each of them. It is administered by the Beinecke Rare Book and the Manuscript Library at Yale University. African winners have been Aminatta Forna (2014), Teju Cole, Helon Habila, and Ivan Vladislavić (2015), Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (2018), Kwame Dawes (2019), and Namwali Serpell (2020).

The winners for the 2021 edition of the prize were announced in the categories of drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry yesterday. The writers, whose work explores matters both personal and political, were honoured for their literary achievement or promise.

“Through original and intensely moving work that challenges what we think we know about genre and style, these extraordinary writers cast a forensic eye on the issues that make us human: our identity, our history, our cultural and political experiences,” said Michael Kelleher, director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes. “We are incredibly proud to recognize and celebrate such exceptional literary talent.”

The writers of African descent who received the award are;

  • Nathan Alan Davis, Drama (United States)
  • Michael R. Jackson, Drama Michael R. Jackson (United States)
  • Dionne Brand, Fiction (Canada/Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Renee Gladman, Fiction (United States)
  • Canisia Lubrin, Poetry (Canada/Saint Lucia)

The other recipients of the prize are Kate Briggs, Nonfiction (United Kingdom/Netherlands), Vivian Gornick, Nonfiction (United States), and Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Poetry (United States).

Watch the winners of the prize being given the news by director Michael Kelleher that they just got a US$165,000 payout in the below video.

 

The winners of the award will be feted at a ceremony in the fall of 2021.