Momtaza Mehri

Momtaza Mehri on UK’s Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Trust Young Writer 2024 shortlist

Momtaza Mehri poetry collection Bad Diaspora Poems is on the shortlist for the UK’s Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Trust Young Writer 2024 announced on Sunday, February 25, 2024.

The Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Trust Young Writer of the Year award is a literary prize awarded to a British author under the age of 35 for a published work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Some of the previous winners of the prize founded in 1991 and administered by the Society of Authors have been Zadie Smith, Adam Foulds, and Raymond Antrobus.

The jury for the 2024 edition is chaired by Johanna Thomas-Corr who is joined by Booker-winning writer and novelist Anne Enright, novelist and critic Mendez, author and critic James McConnachie, poet Daljit Nagra and novelist Catriona Ward. This panel has announced the shortlist for the award with Momtaza Mehri, whose debut poetry collection Bad Diaspora Poems (Jonathan Cape), told in lyric, prose, and text messages which confronts ideas around diaspora, migration, and home making the cut.

Johanna Thomas-Corr said: ‘We have found four very different writers who are injecting real energy and vitality into the literary scene. What impressed me most was their attentiveness to the world around them and their commitment to telling complex and often tough truths, as well as the unique ways in which each has made space for humour in their work. They have all shown daring and gumption.’

Momtaza Mehri has won the Manchester Poetry Prize, the Brunel African Poetry Prize, and the Forward Prize for Poetry for her work.

The winner to receive a cash prize of £10,000 (with each shortlistee receiving £1,000), will be announced in a ceremony at Canova Hall, Brixton on Tuesday, 19th March 2024. The four shortlisted authors will also be in conversation at a public event in London, UK on Monday, March 18, hosted by Sebastian Faulks, Chair of the Charlotte Aitken Trust.

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