Wednesday, 22 September 2010

MS: Five women dominate the six-strong Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist

The Mslexia Blog


Good work Caroline Bird! As those who read my earlier posts will surely know, I am a big fan of this young, imaginative British poet who has previously been shortlisted for this very prize, and she is still ONLY 23. Gosh! Watering Can is fab, mind. I’ve reread it only this week. There are many poems that I like inside the covers. Poems like ‘Last Tuesday’, ‘Wedding Guest’, ‘Closet Affair’ and ‘Blame the Poodle’. Poems like ‘Road-Signs’:
You were travelling a grey motorway.
You had your baby in your lap
with enormous green eyes
and a scarily large head.
You parked the car in a lay-by, sat on the roof,
held her high like a trophy,
joked, ‘One day all of this will be yours
.’
I am also looking forward to ploughing through the other titles on the shortlist before December’s winner is announced.
Emily M
Emily Mackie
The ‘most diverse shortlist to date’ for the £30,000 Prize, which is now awarded annually to talented writers under the age of 30, has revealed a six-strong shortlist from a longlist of 16, five of whom are female. The writers hail from five continents, and the six works consist of two poetry collections and four novels, covering topics from war and family to love and betrayal. Joining Caroline Bird in the running will be Somalian writer Nadifa MohamedThe Rehearsal author Eleanor Catton, American poet Elyse Fenton; andEmily Mackie, who currently resides in Bristol. Debut novelist Karan Mahajan completes the list with Family Planning.
Dylan Thomas Prize founder and member of the judging panel, Professor Peter Stead, commented: ‘As a panel, we were both pleased and surprised to see that the final six were predominately female writers, as there was a fairly even spread on the longlist. Regardless of gender, this is an outstanding shortlist that, in my opinion, rivals that of the world’s best-known literary awards.’
The winner will be announced at the final awards ceremony at Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, Wales on December 1st, 2010.

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