Awards: Wales’ Dylan Thomas Prize Announces Its 2022 Longlist

In News by Porter Anderson

A dozen titles by writers 39 or younger comprise novels, poetry, and short stories, most from independent publishers this year.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Shortlist Is Scheduled for March 31
As the book publishing’s legions of awards programs continue to fire their year-opening salvos across the news-media terrain, the 2022 longlist has been released by the £20,000 (US$27,042) Dylan Thomas Prize for writers who are 39 or younger—the age at which the eponymous poet of Swansea died.

This program is based at Swansea University, as you’ll recall, and awarded £30,000 until 2021. In the competitive world of these contests, the Dylan Thomas’ program’s main competition for attention is London’s Young Writer of the Year program from the Sunday Times and the Charlotte Aitken Trust. That one awards £10,000 to its winner and its age cutoff is 35, four years earlier than the Dylan Thomas.

In Wales, the Dylan this year sports a smart deep-navy logo, a welcome escape from the cornea-searing magenta of before. Publicists are emphasizing the program’s internationalist quality, its longlist touting books by authors with backgrounds in United States, Ireland, Trinidad, Ghana, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, England, Scotland, and, happily, Wales herself.

There are eight novels, two volumes of poetry, and two story collections.

Independent publishers are looking good on the list, with two titles from Faber and Faber, one from James Daunt’s house, Daunt Publishing; one each from And Other Stories; Granta; Bloomsbury Circus; Yale University Press; and Atlantic Press. Two each come from divisions and/or imprints of Hachette Penguin Random House.

A shortlist is expected on March 31, with a winner’s ceremony that organizers hope to hold in Swansea on May 12, two days before the annual recognition of Dylan Thomas Day.

This year’s panel of jurors comprises Alan Bilton; Irenosen Okojie; Luke Kennard; Namita Gokhale again as chair; and Rachel Trezise.

The 2020 Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist
  • A Passage North – Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta)
  • What Noise Against the Cane – Desiree Bailey (Yale University Press)
  • Keeping the House – Tice Cin (And Other Stories)
  • Auguries of a Minor God – Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe (Faber and Faber)
  • The Sweetness of Water – Nathan Harris (Hachette / Tinder Press)
  • No One is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Milk Blood Heat – Dantiel W. Moniz (Atlantic Books)
  • Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley (Hachette / John Murray Press)
  • Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson (Penguin Random House / Viking)
  • Acts of Desperation – Megan Nolan (Penguin Random House/ Jonathan Cape)
  • Peaces – Helen Oyeyemi (Faber and Faber)
  • Filthy Animals – Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing)

Prior to the award ceremony on May 12, an event with shortlisted authors is to be held at the British Library in London on May 12.

Last year’s Dylan Thomas Prize was awarded to the American writer Raven Leilani for Luster. In the United States, Luster is published by Macmillan/FSG. In the United Kingdom, Luster is published by Pan Macmillan/FSG/Picador

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize is here. And more on world literary and publishing awards is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.