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Arinze Ifeakandu, Warsan Shire Shortlisted for 2023 Dylan Thomas Prize

Arinze Ifeakandu, Warsan Shire Shortlisted for 2023 Dylan Thomas Prize

Shortlisted books

Ifeakandu and Shire, the only writers of African descent on the list, were nominated for their respective literary works, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things and Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head.

By Hope Ibiale

African writers, Arinze Ifeakandu, and Warsan Shire, have been shortlisted for the 2023 Dylan Thomas Prize. Ifeakandu and Shire, the only writers of African descent on the list, were nominated for their respective literary works, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things and Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head. The winner will be announced at a Winner’s Ceremony held in Swansea on Thursday 11 May, prior to International Dylan Thomas Day on Sunday 14 May.

The shortlisted writers include:

Limberlost by Robbie Arnott (Atlantic Books) – novel (Australia)

Seven Steeples by Sara Baume (Tramp Press) – novel (Ireland)

God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu (Orion, Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – short story collection (Nigeria)

I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel (Rough Trade Books/ Granta) – novel (UK)

Send Nudes by Saba Sams (Bloomsbury Publishing) – short story collection (UK)

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire (Chatto & Windus, Vintage) – poetry collection (Somalia-UK).

Shortlisted books Warsan ShireArinze Ifeakandu Dylan thomas prize

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The shortlist for this year was announced on Thursday with Di Speirs, Chair of the judges, and Books Editor at BBC Audio, saying: “There’s brilliance and beauty in the six books shortlisted for this year’s Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize. All six – while hugely different in style, subject and genre, and ranging from rural Tasmania and the wild Irish coast to the sharply contemporary in Nigeria and the UK – exemplify not only the talent and excitingly fresh, often startling, writing we were seeking, but draw the reader in and on. That we all agreed so clearly on our shortlist is testament to the strength of this potent mix of poetry, short stories, and novels and to the power of the six writers.”

Arinze Ifeakandu is a Nigerian fiction writer. The writer, an AKO Caine Prize for African Writing finalist and A Public Space Writing Fellow, is also an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate. His work has appeared in publications like A Public Space, Guernica, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and One Story. God’s Children Are Little Broken Things is his first book.

Warsan Shire is a British-Somali writer, poet, editor, and teacher. In 2013, she was awarded the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and served as London’s first Young Poet Laureate. Shire’s poetry has also been featured in Beyonce’s feature-length films, Lemonade and Black is King. Her other works include Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, Her Blue Body, and many others.

The Dylan Thomas Prize is a literary prize given to the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. The award show, aimed at rewarding raw creative talent worldwide, will award the winner with a sum of £20,000. Also, the prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms, including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama.

This year’s judges include Di Speirs, Jon Gower, Maggie Shipstead, Rachel Long, and Prajwal Parajuly.

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