Dylan Thomas prize goes to US poetJudges hail Clamor by Elyse Fenton as 'an astonishing, fully accomplished book'
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 December 2010 15.19 GMT
US poet Elyse Fenton has won this year's £30,000 Dylan Thomas prize for a collection of 21st century war poetry partly written while her army doctor husband was deployed in Baghdad.
Clamor is the first volume of poetry to have taken the award, previously won by Vietnamese writer Nam Le's The Boat in 2008 and Welsh author Rachel Trevise's Fresh Apples two years earlier. The win is the latest in a string of prizes this autumn going to books from small presses, in this instance the Cleveland State University Poetry Center.
Clamor has been widely praised by US critics for its interweaving of the brutality of warfare with its love story, the front line in Iraq and the "home base" in America. Poet Gwyneth Lewis, a member of the Dylan Thomas prize judging panel, picked out the same theme, saying, "The book's vision of the relationship between love and war is more than worthy to be considered in the tradition of Dylan Thomas's work", and praising Clamor as "poetry of a very high order". Chair of the judges Peter Florence called Fenton's book "an astonishing, fully accomplished book of huge ambition and spectacular delivery".
Fenton won on a shortlist dominated by women which included entrants from five continents, including British poet Caroline Bird, Somalian writer Nadifa Mohamed, Canadian Eleanor Catton, Indian-born Karan Mahajan and Scot Emily Mackie.
Sponsored by the University of Wales, the lucrative prize is designed to encourage creative talent in writers under the age of 30, and is open to any work written in the English language.
Meanwhile Stefan Mohamed, from Powys, has picked up the prize's inaugural £5,000 Sony Reader category for unpublished writers, with his novel Bitter Sixteen.
FONTE: The Guardian
URL FONTE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
URL MATÉRIA: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/dec/02/dylan-thomas-prize-us-poet-elyse-fenton