Wales Book of the Year Short List 2019
“Illustrating the significance of the stories of Wales to a global readership.”
After many months reading through Wales’ literary offerings from 2018, two independent judging panels have chosen their Short Lists for both the English and Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Awards 2019.
The Award is presented annually to the best works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.
This year’s Short Lists include some of Wales’ leading writers. Collectively they have won a range of literary prizes including: the Somerset Maugham Award, Sunday Times Business Book of the Year, the Orange Prize, Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award, the Costa Poetry Award, the Branford Boase Award, National Eisteddfod Chairs, Crowns and Medals for poetry, prose and drama, and last but not least, the Wales Book of the Year Award. Going head-to-head with established literary giants are some of Wales’ most exciting debut writers.
The English-language Short List 2019 titles are:
Roland Mathias Poetry Award
Insistence, Ailbhe Darcy (Bloodaxe Books Ltd.)
Salacia, Mari Ellis Dunning (Parthian Books)
Gen, Jonathan Edwards (Seren)
Aberystwyth University Fiction Award
Arrest Me, for I Have Run Away, Stevie Davies (Parthian Books)
West, Carys Davies (Granta Publications)
Sal, Mick Kitson (Canongate Books)
Creative Non-Fiction Award
Moneyland, Oliver Bullough (Profile Books)
The light in the dark: A winter journal, Horatio Clare (Elliott & Thompson)
Having a go at the Kaiser: A Welsh family at war, Gethin Matthews (University of Wales Press)
The English-language judges are: Sandeep Parmar, poet and Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University; Louise Holmwood Marshall, Head of the English and Creative Writing Department of Aberystwyth University; and novelist and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London Russell Celyn Jones.
On behalf of the judging panel, Louise Holmwood-Marshall said: “The range and quality of the entries demonstrates, yet again, the incredible talent of Welsh writers and the cultural contribution that authors from and of Wales make to the country’s long-established literary heritage. The 2019 shortlist illustrates not only an incredible breadth and variety of writing but also the significance of the stories of Wales to a global readership.”
The Welsh-language judging panel for Wales Book of the Year 2019 are: poet and 2017 Wales Book of the Year winner, Idris Reynolds for his memoir of Dic Jones, Darn o Haul Draw yn Rhywle: Cofio Dic (Gwasg Gomer); popular broadcaster and sports author, Dylan Ebenezer; and the Aberystwyth University’s Head of Welsh and Celtic Studies Cathryn Charnell-White.
The Welsh-language Short List titles are:
Twt Lol, Emyr Lewis (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
Cyrraedd a cherddi eraill, Alan Llwyd (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)
Stafell fy Haul, Manon Rhys (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)
Gwobr Ffuglen Prifysgol Aberystwyth
Ynys Fadog, Jerry Hunter (Y Lolfa)
Llyfr Glas Nebo, Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa)
Esgyrn, Heiddwen Thomas (Y Lolfa)
Gwobr Ffeithiol- Greadigol
Cymru mewn 100 Gwrthrych, Andrew Green (Gwasg Gomer)
Y Gymru ‘Ddu’ a’r Ddalen ‘Wen’: Aralledd ac Amlddiwylliannedd mewn Ffuglen Gymreig, er 1990, Lisa Sheppard (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)
Rhyddhau’r Cranc, Malan Wilkinson (Y Lolfa)
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “These exceptional titles encourage readers to explore and consider some of life’s biggest questions. Mental health and identity – both personal and national – flow through these selections. This is contemporary Welsh writing at its very finest.”
To read more about the shortlisted titles and their authors, visit www.literaturewales.org.
The winners of this prestigious award will be announced at an Award Ceremony held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Thursday 20 June, where a total prize fund of £12,000 will be distributed to the winning writers. Each category winner will receive a prize of £1,000, and the main award winners in each language will receive an additional £3,000. Each winner will also receive a specially commissioned trophy created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones. Tickets for the Award Ceremony are £7.50 (£5 concessions) and can be purchased via the Aberystwyth Arts Centre website.
At the Award Ceremony both the People’s Choice Award and Gwobr Barn y Bobl (the Welsh-language people’s prize) will also be presented to the reading public’s favorite title from the Short List. Visit the Wales Arts Review website to vote for your favorite English-language title: www.walesartsreview.org. The Welsh-language poll is hosted by Golwg360: www.golwg360.com
For further information on the Wales Book of the Year Award visit: www.literaturewales.org/wales-book-year