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NWR Issue 95

Wales Book of the Year Shortlist 2012

The Book of the Year shortlist ceremony in Brecon last night was really well attended and organised (though English panel judge Spencer Jordan needs a little coaching on his pronunciation of one or two author names).

Also there was a sense of slight culture disjuncture in the content of the English and Welsh poetry readings and indeed political stance of the respective Laureates. Eurig Salisbury was a touch tub-thumping with his poem on the Olympics, while Gillian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy read occasional poems commissioned for the Jubilee and Royal Wedding (I'd like to see Literature Wales move away from their reliance on the Laureates, although I'm sure they draw the crowds).

NWR's alternative Book of the Year list was not far off, and bang on for poetry, in a very strong poetry shortlist, Atkinson, Gross and Lewis. I predict a poetry title (no idea which) as overall winner on 12 July, a nonfiction category winner of Richard Gwyn The Vagabond's Breakfast; fiction, Robert Minhinnick's The Keys of Babylon for its ambition and global reach (tho might revise this once I've actually read Dunthorne's Wild Abandon, having only just finished his brilliant Submarine, and wouldn't it be nice to have a comic writer winning?) Non-Welsh publishers monopolised the poetry shortlist; two out of three for the nonfiction, and Seren dominated the fiction list (no wonder Mick Felton was looking smug last night; Minhinnick's and McGuinness' editor Penny Thomas at Seren should also be feeling likewise). You can vote for your favourite here for the Wales Online's Media Choice, English category

For Welsh, I'm guessing category winners on 12 July of Alan Llwyd's Kate biography (nonfiction); Mihangel Morgan's Pantglas (fiction) and Ifor ap Glyn's Waliau'n Canu for poetry, with Pantglas taking the overall Welsh prize. Pleidleisiwch dros eich ffefryn Cymraeg yma.


previous blog: Hay; summer author interviews and books; autumn preview
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