Press release

Baroness Jenny Randerson: "Dylan Thomas is a great cultural ambassador for Wales."

Wales Office Minister celebrates leading authors shortlisted for International Dylan Thomas Prize.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Pictured with Baroness Randerson (left to right): Joshua Ferris, Kseniya Melnik, Naomi Wood and Kei Miller.

With seven exciting works on the shortlist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, Baroness Randerson was delighted to meet some of the authors at a reception in the Wales Office in London.

The short-list of internationally-acclaimed writers come from a rich mix of background influences: Wales, England, Ireland, Jamaica, the United States, Russia and New Zealand.

Joshua Ferris, Naomi Wood, Kseniya Melnik and Kei Miller were delighted to meet the Minister in advance of a programme of events which the shortlisted writers will be attending in London and Wales leading up to the prize award ceremony on 6 November at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Wales Office Minister Baroness Randerson said:

I am delighted to have met some of the shortlisted authors in the lead up to the International Dylan Thomas Prize awards ceremony which this year falls in the centenary of his birth.

Dylan Thomas is a great cultural ambassador for Wales who more than 50 years beyond his grave remains one of the most exciting and original writers of the twentieth century.

It is a measure of his importance that 100 years since his birthday the International Dylan Thomas Prize continues to celebrate and nurture today’s writers.

Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University, said:

The International Dylan Thomas Prize and its principal sponsor Swansea University are delighted that Baroness Randerson welcomed a party of the short-listed poets and writers to the Wales Office.

The writers will spend this week in Dylan Thomas’s Swansea, meeting students and the community, seeing where Dylan was born a hundred years ago and exploring his legacy.

The award of the prize will take place at a glittering ceremony in the National Waterfront Museum on 6 November.

Launched in 2006, the annual International Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence.

The £30,000 prize is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.

Peter Stead, Founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, said:

Dylan Thomas was the Swansea–born poet whose spell-binding words and performances conquered London and North America and identified him as one of the most influential writers of the mid-20th century.

The prize established in his name has captured the imagination of writers internationally and in recent years thirty short-listed writers from all continents have come to Wales to speak to students and writing classes.

The prize has been won by writers from Wales and Northern Ireland, a Vietnamese Australian and three Americans. Swansea University is the chief sponsor of the prize and is proud to be associated with a competition that invites entries from young writers from around the world.

Find out more about the International Dylan Thomas Prize

Published 4 November 2014