This year’s Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize longlist has been announced at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India. The list boasts a collection of young, experimental writers who are offering platforms for under-represented voices and exploring pressing social and world themes across identity, culture and power.
The acclaimed Indian feminist writer and novelist, Meena Kandasamy, Hong Kong born LGBTQ+ poet Mary Jean Chan, Ukrainian-born artist and writer Yelena Moskovich, Brazilian-British debut novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Vietnamese-American novelist Ocean Vuong, and Belgrade-born Orange Prize winner Téa Obreht are among the 12 authors on the longlist for the £30,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize.
The 12 longlisted titles will be judged by a bumper guest panel chaired by Swansea University’s Professor Dai Smith CBE, including annual judge Professor Kurt Heinzelman, the award-winning writer and founder of Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale, acclaimed writer and 2011 winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize Lucy Caldwell, the British-Ghanaian writer, poet and critic Bridget Minamore, celebrated writer and presenter of BBC Radio 3: The Verb Ian McMillan and national arts and culture journalist Max Liu.
This year’s longlist comprises seven novels, three poetry collections and two short story collections:
- Surge – Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus)
- Flèche – Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber)
- Exquisite Cadavers – Meena Kandasamy (Atlantic Books)
- Things we say in the Dark – Kirsty Logan (Harvell Secker, Vintage)
- Black Car Burning – Helen Mort (Chatto & Windus)
- Virtuoso– Yelena Moskovich (Serpent’s Tail)
- Inland – Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
- Stubborn Archivist – Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet)
- If All the World and Love were Young – Stephen Sexton (Penguin Random House)
- The Far Field – Madhuri Vijay (Atlantic Books)
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)
- Lot – Bryan Washington (Atlantic Books)
Worth £30,000, it is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes as well as the world’s largest literary prize for young writers. Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama.
On receiving the 2019 award for his debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne said: “Dylan Thomas has always meant a lot to me, he’s a writer I’ve always turned to for inspiration. And after winning this prize, my mind just goes to all the other writers, or aspiring writers, who are writing from a place like where I began. A place like Neasden, somewhere I always thought was a nowhere place. But to make art out of the world, the language, the voices I grew up around I always felt was important…”
The shortlist will be announced on 7 April, followed by a British Library Event, London on 13 May and Winner’s Ceremony held in Swansea on International Dylan Thomas Day, 14 May.