Wales Book of the Year 2010 Longlists announced
24th April 2010
From the tales of the Mabinogi to an account of a rural Welsh childhood in the 1920s and the diary of a modern-day police officer on the beat, the longlist for the Wales Book of the Year features an eclectic mix of subject matter and genres.
The longlists for the eighteenth Wales Book of the Year - Wales's premier award for literature - were announced today, Tuesday 20 April at The Management Centre, Bangor Business School, North Wales. The awards, worth £10,000 to the winners, are presented to the best books of the year in the English and Welsh language.
The English language judges are poet and lecturer at the University of Wales, Ian Gregson (chair); fiction writer, James Hawes and broadcaster Sara Edwards.
The list includes debut novels from Mike Thomas and Terri Wiltshire; Alun Trevor's memoir of a Welsh childhood; travel writing by Horatio Clare; short stories from Emyr Humphreys and poetry from Jasmine Donahaye, Philip Gross and Richard Marggraf Turley. Peter Lord is nominated for his scholarly account of the history of Welsh painting and Nikolai Tolstoy for his analysis of the origins of the Mabinogi.
Ian Gregson, Chair of the English-language judges said:
'This year's list is especially exciting because almost all the best books this year were by lesser-known or younger writers, notably the two novelists and the three poets. It's also conspicuously varied in terms of genre: as well as poetry and novels, it includes nature-writing, life-writing, short stories, and two books of intriguing and challenging critical exegesis.'
Peter Finch, Academi Chief Executive commented:
'The Wales Book of the Year Award means something. It marks longlisted authors as winners and gives readers a pretty reliable indication of which books they should tackle next. This year's list includes a number of new names - a sure indicator of the vibrancy of Welsh culture - and stretches itself right across the forms. Poetry battles with short fiction, criticism is ranged against the novel. Who will win? Watch this space.'
On Sunday 6 June, the shortlist of three books in each language will be announced at the Guardian Hay Festival. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 30 June at a gala dinner at St David's Hotel, Cardiff where the winners in each language will receive a cheque for £10,000 and four runners-up will each receive £1,000.
The Wales Book of the Year is administered by Academi, and funded by the Arts Council of Wales through its income from the Welsh Assembly Government.
Wales Book of the Year 2010 Longlist
Horatio Clare A Single Swallow Vintage
Jasmine Donahaye Self-Portrait as Ruth Salt Modern Poets
Philip Gross I Spy Pinhole Eye Cinnamon Press
Emyr Humphreys The Woman at the Window Seren
Peter Lord The Meaning of Pictures University of Wales Press
Mike Thomas Pocket Notebook Heinemann
Nikolai Tolstoy The Oldest British Prose Literature: The Compilation of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi
Edward Mellen Press
Alun Trevor The Songbird is Singing Parthian
Richard Marggraf Turley Wan-Hu's Flying Chair Salt Modern Poets
Terri Wiltshire Carry Me Home Macmillan New Writing
The authors on the Welsh-language longlist are Siân Melangell Dafydd, John Davies, Hywel Griffiths, Caryl Lewis, Haf Llewelyn, D. Densil Morgan, Sian Owen, Manon Rhys, Cefin Roberts and Manon Steffan Ros.
Wales Book of the Year Award
- The Wales Book of the Year prizes are awarded annually to the best Welsh language and English language works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism. They are administered by the Academi with funding from the Arts Council of Wales.
- Prizes are awarded for the best books published in the previous calendar year, with £10,000 each awarded to the two winning titles. The two runners up in each category also receive £1,000.
- The award began in 1992. Previous English-language award winners include Dannie Abse (The Presence, 2008), Lloyd Jones (Mr Cassini, 2007), Robert Minhinnick (To Babel and Back, 2006), Owen Sheers (The Dust Diaries, 2005) and Niall Griffiths (Stump, 2004).
- The 2009 winners were Deborah Kay Davies for Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful (Parthian) and Wiliam Owen Roberts for Petrograd (Barddas).
- Yr Academi Gymreig is the Welsh National Literature Development Agency and Society for Authors. It was established in 1959, following discussions between Bobi Jones and Waldo Williams.
- In 1998 the Society's role increased greatly when it won the Arts Council of Wales franchise to become Wales' National Literature Promotion Agency.
- The Academi works in partnership with Ty Newydd Writing Centre in Llanystumdwy. The Academi works with the support of the Arts Council of Wales.
- The Academi is responsible for organising the Wales Book of the Year award, literary events (conferences, dinners, poetry tours, lectures), writers' bursaries, Writing Squads and various support schemes.
- Chief Executive is the writer and literary entrepreneur Peter Finch.
- The Academi has joined the Urdd, Diversions, Welsh National Opera and other organisations at the Wales Millennium Centre where it runs the Glyn Jones Centre.