Irish authors Sara Baume and Ciarán O'Rourke longlisted for prestigious book prize

Irish authors Sara Baume and Ciarán O'Rourke longlisted for prestigious book prize

IRISH authors Sara Baume and Ciarán O'Rourke have been longlisted for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize.

Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize is described as a “highly prestigious celebration of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama”.

It is also one of the world’s largest literary prizes for young writers, and the longlist was announced today, with authors hailing from the UK, Ireland, Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Lebanon and Australia all making the cut.

Cork-based Sara Baume has been nominated for Seven Steeples (Pic: Kenneth O'Halloran)

This year boasts 12 contenders for the prize – a collection of authors which features an even split of debut and established names, with African diaspora and female voices dominating the longlist.

Through themes of coming of age, adversity and love, the 2023 longlist comprises eight novels, two poetry collections and two short story collections.

They are: Limberlost by Robbie Arnott - novel (Australia); Seven Steeples by Sara Baume – novel (Ireland); God's Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu – short story collection (Nigeria); Maps Of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer – novel (UK), Phantom Gang by Ciarán O'Rourke - poetry collection (Ireland), Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor – novel (Kenya), Losing the Plot by Derek Owusu – novel (UK), I'm a Fan by Sheena Patel – novel (UK), Send Nudes by Saba Sams – short story collection (UK), Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire – poetry collection (Somalia-UK), Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens – novel (UK) and No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib – novel (Lebanon).

Dublin native Ciarán O'Rourke is shortlisted for his book Phantom Gang

The longlisted titles will now be whittled down to a six strong shortlist by a panel of judges chaired by esteemed British producer and Books Editor for BBC Radio Di Speirs.

She is joined by prize-winning Welsh author and lecturer in English at Swansea University, Jon Gower, American bestselling author and 2012 winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize winner, Maggie Shipstead, British poet and the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, Rachel Long and Nepali-Indian author and 2013 Prize shortlistee Prajwal Parajuly.

Worth £20,000, the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes as well as the world’s largest literary prize for young writers.

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday, March 23 with the winner due to be revealed on May 11.