Sheffield-born writer Helen Mort longlisted for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize

Poet Helen Mort relaxing at home in Chesterfield. Picture: Dean Atkins
Poet Helen Mort relaxing at home in Chesterfield. Picture: Dean Atkins

A Yorkshire writer has been longlisted for a prize which is named in honour of Dylan Thomas.

Sheffield-born Helen Mort is in the running for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize for her debut novel Black Car Burning.

Poet Ian McMillan. Picture: Marisa Cashill.

Poet Ian McMillan. Picture: Marisa Cashill.

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She joins authors from Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Ukraine and Vietnam who are among the 12 names in the running for the £30,000 prize, which was set up in 2006 to encourage "raw creative talent" in young international writers.

Ms Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985 and grew up in nearby Chesterfield.

Five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer Prize in 2008.

Her first collection, Division Street (2013), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.

In 2014, she was named as a ‘Next Generation Poet’, the accolade announced only once every ten years, recognising the 20 most exciting new poets from the UK and Ireland.

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No Map Could Show Them (2016), her second collection, about women and mountaineering, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Ms Mort has been the Wordsworth Trust Poet in Residence and the Derbyshire Poet Laureate and was named one of the RSL’s 40 under 40 Fellows in 2018.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Sheffield. Black Car Burning is her first novel.

Indian feminist writer and novelist, Meena Kandasamy, Hong Kong born LGBTQ+ poet Mary Jean Chan, Ukrainian-born artist and writer Yelena Moskovich, Brazilian-British debut novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Vietnamese-American novelist Ocean Vuong, and Belgrade-born Orange Prize winner Téa Obreht are among the 12 authors.

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The longlisted titles will be judged by a "bumper guest panel" chaired by Swansea University’s Professor Dai Smith CBE, including annual judge Professor Kurt Heinzelman, the award-winning writer and founder of Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale, acclaimed writer and 2011 winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize Lucy Caldwell, the British-Ghanaian writer, poet and critic Bridget Minamore, celebrated writer and presenter of BBC Radio 3: The Verb Ian McMillan and national arts and culture journalist Max Liu.

Mr McMillan was recently given the Freedom of Barnsley and narrates the More 4 show The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes.

This year’s longlist comprises seven novels, three poetry collections and two short story collections:

· Surge - Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus)

· Flèche - Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber)

· Exquisite Cadavers - Meena Kandasamy (Atlantic Books)

· Things we say in the Dark - Kirsty Logan (Harvell Secker, Vintage)

· Black Car Burning - Helen Mort (Chatto & Windus)

· Virtuoso- Yelena Moskovich (Serpent’s Tail)

· Inland - Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

· Stubborn Archivist - Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet)

· If All the World and Love were Young - Stephen Sexton (Penguin Random House)

· The Far Field - Madhuri Vijay (Atlantic Books)

· On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)

· Lot - Bryan Washington (Atlantic Books)