Welsh actor, Celyn Jones, to host the International Dylan Thomas Prize award ceremony

Welsh actor, Celyn Jones, known for his portrayal of Dylan Thomas in the 2014 film, Set Fire to the Stars, will host this year’s International Dylan Thomas Prize award ceremony.

Celyn JonesThe ceremony will be held at the Great Hall on the new Swansea University Bay Campus, at 1.30pm on International Dylan Thomas Day, 14 May 2016.

The International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University, supports and nurtures young writing talent from around the world and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

The 2016 award ceremony, which is open to the public for the first time, will feature live readings by the six shortlisted authors, and live music entertainment by the jazz-folk group, Burum. Priced at £8 / £6, tickets include refreshments at the reception and entry to the ceremony.

In March, the distinguished panel of judges, Chaired by Professor Dai Smith (Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University) and comprising Sarah Hall (author), Professor Kurt Heinzelman (poet), Phyllida Lloyd (film and theatre director), Kamila Shamsie (author), and Professor Owen Sheers (novelist, poet and playwright), agreed unanimously on the six-strong list, after 2.5 hours of deliberation.


The shortlisted writers are:

  • Claire-Louise Bennett Pond (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Tania James), The Tusk that Did the Damage, (Harvill Secker [UK] / Alfred A. Knopf [US])
  • Frances Leviston, Disinformation, (Picador)
  • Andrew McMillan, Physical, (Jonathan Cape)
  • Max Porter, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, (Faber & Faber)
  • Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways, (Picador)

One of the richest awards available for young fiction writers, the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University, is awarded to the best published literary work of fiction in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. Eligible works include poetry, novels, short stories and drama.

Chair of judges, Professor Dai Smith, Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University, said:

“After 2.5 hours of close and vibrant discussion, the judges had the unenviable task of selecting six works to go on to the shortlist from an exceptionally strong field. It goes without saying, therefore, that the final choice, unanimously agreed, shows an astounding array of form, genre and achievement from such young writers. The shortlist for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University, is eye-catching, eclectic and totally energising. The ultimate winner of the 2016 Prize will be truly exceptional as a result.”

Tickets must be purchased in advance via www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk or by phoning the Great Hall box office 01792 604900