The shortlist of seven works for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s biggest literary prize for young writers, was announced in the poet’s home town of Swansea – in his centenary year – on the evening of Thursday 4 September.
Dylan Thomas Prize logoThis year’s shortlist includes poetry, prose and drama, and is extremely international, with writers drawing on a rich mix of background influences: Wales, England, Ireland, Jamaica, the United States, Russia and New Zealand. It was announced by musician and radio presenter Cerys Matthews, one of the judges for the Prize.
The £30,000 Prize, sponsored by Swansea University, is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence across all genres and is open to novels, short stories, poetry and drama.
The 2014 shortlist is:
• Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)
• Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
• Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Faber & Faber)
• Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May (Fourth Estate)
• Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet Press)
• Owen Sheers, Mametz (National Theatre Wales)
• Naomi Wood, Mrs Hemingway (Picador)
The announcement was made at an event in Swansea, which was part of a major international conference of Dylan Thomas experts, Dylan Unchained, which is hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University.
Cerys Matthews said:
“This year’s list is truly delicious. It features international works across all genres – poetry, prose and drama – and has attracted young international writers of incredible talent. It is a delight to be part of the judging panel in this centenary year of Dylan Thomas’s birth.”
Peter Stead, founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, said:
“Given the strength of our longlist, we judges knew that choosing a shortlist would be a difficult process. In the end, seven wonderful works stood out.
We are thrilled that a play written and performed in Wales and a Caribbean poet from Glasgow will be gracing the shortlist which also consists of two American writers and novelists from Ireland, England and New Zealand.
Several of the books on the shortlist have already been honoured and this indicates the extent to which the International Dylan Thomas Prize has earned its place at the forefront of world literature.
We will be inviting to Swansea seven of the best writers in the world.”
Judging Panel: International Dylan Thomas Prize 2014
• Peter Florence, Founder of the Hay Festival and Chairman of the judging panel
• Tishani Doshi, writer and dancer
• Prof Kurt Heinzelman, poet, translator and Professor of English, University of Texas
• Carolyn Hitt, journalist and author
• Cerys Matthews, Author, singer and BBC 6 music presenter
• Allison Pearson, novelist and Daily Telegraph columnist
• Peter Stead, Founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas Prize
• Nicholas Wroe, Guardian Review journalist