Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Caleb Azumah Nelson on Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 shortlist

Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Caleb Azumah Nelson on Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 shortlist

Ayòbámi Adébáyò and Caleb Azumah Nelson are on the shortlist for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 announced on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer who became widely popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death at the age of 39. The International Dylan Thomas Prize aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide was set up by Swansea University in his honour in 2006. The £20,000 Prize is awarded annually to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. Some of the previous winners include Fiona McFarlane, Patricia Lockwood, Kayo Chingonyi (2018), Raven Leilani, (2021), and Arinze Ifeakandu (2023).

The jury for 2024 is chaired by author and co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale, alongside prize-winning Welsh author and lecturer in Creative Writing at Swansea University, Jon Gower, winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2022 and Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin, Seán Hewitt, former BBC Gulf Correspondent and author of Telling Tales: An Oral History of Dubai, Julia Wheeler, and interdisciplinary artist and author of Keeping the House, longlisted for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize in 2022, Tice Cin.

The longlist was announced on Thursday, January 25 before the shortlist was made public today with the following writers of African descent on the list;

  • A Spell of Good Things, Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Canongate Books, Nigeria
  • Small Worlds, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Viking, Penguin Random House UK, UK/Ghana

Both Ayòbámi Adébáyò and Caleb Azumah Nelson have been previously in the running with the former longlisted in 2018 for her debut Stay With Me and the latter shortlisted for 2022’s Open Water.

Ayòbámi Adébáyò said, “Such delightful news this morning! A SPELL OF GOOD THINGS has been shortlisted for the @dylanthomasprize. I am grateful, deeply grateful to everyone who has supported this book in some way. Congratulations to the other writers on the shortlist!”

Caleb Azumah Nelson said, “Delighted to be on the shortlist for @dylanthomasprize in a cohort of wonderful writers! 🎉Congrats to all other shortlisted writers and big, big thanks to the judges for recognising SMALL WORLDS in this way 🌎💙”

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony in Swansea on Thursday, May 16, following International Dylan Thomas Day on Tuesday, May 14.


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