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Pigeon and The Tradition Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2017

Alys Conran, Art, Fiction, Literature Wales, Non-fiction, Pigeon, Pijin, shortlist, The Tradition, Wales Book of the Year, WBOTY17, Welsh Art -

Pigeon and The Tradition Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2017

Congratulations to Alys Conran (Pigeon) and Peter Lord (The Tradition) who have both had their latest books shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2017, as announced on BBC Radio Wales this morning.

The Wales Book of the Year Award, administered by Literature Wales, is presented to the best Welsh-language and English-language works first published in the preceding year in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction. 

The Short List comprises of three books in each of the following categories in both Welsh and English: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.


The English-language poetry category, sponsored by The Brecknock Society is entitled The Roland Mathias Poetry Award. The English-language fiction category is sponsored by The Rhys Davies Trust, and is entitled The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award. The English-language judging panel this year are: award-winning author Tyler Keevil; Senior Lecturer Dimitra Fimi and the Costa Poetry Prize winner Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards said: 'This shortlist offers a real celebration of just how exciting, vibrant and diverse literature in Wales currently is. There are books here for everyone: poetry collections which are novelistic in their scope and ambition, novels whose innovations in language might be traditionally expected of poetry. There are biographies which don't so much show you a life as let you amble round in a world, reference books which can put six centuries on your coffee table. To be part of the announcement of this list is to be proud to be Welsh; the country which moved these writers to such astonishing achievement.'

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: 'It’s one of the literary highlights of the year, and we at Literature Wales have been filled with excitement for the release of this year's Short List. With the announcement taking place during Libraries Week, we hope that readers will head to their local library to seek out these wonderful titles to enjoy the wealth and variety of modern Welsh literature. Readers will travel from the shadow of slate mountains to 60s London; they’ll be lost at sea; they’ll experience the pain of radiation therapy; will learn about the history of Welsh art, and journey through themes of loss, myth and memory.'

The winners of this prestigious award will be announced at an Award Ceremony held in The Tramshed, Cardiff on the evening of Monday 13 November, where a total prize fund of £12,000 is up for grabs. Each category winner will receive a prize of £1,000, and the main award winners in each language will receive an additional £3,000. Each winner will also receive a specially commissioned trophy created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones. Tickets for the Award Ceremony are £6 and can be purchased online from http://tramshedcardiff.com.

At the Award Ceremony both the People’s Choice Award and Gwobr Barn y Bobl (the Welsh-language people’s prize) will also be presented to the reading public’s favorite title from the Short List. Visit Wales Arts Review to vote for your favorite English-language title. 

The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award Short List:

Described as 'An exquisite novel by a great new talent.' by M.J. Hyland, Pigeon is Alys Conran's debut novel, which was also shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize earlier this year. 

About Pigeon:

Iola and Pijin make up stories to test each other, stories of daring and adventure, of bad people and of Gwyn who drives his ice-cream up the hill to their town every week. Gwyn is a dangerous man and Pijin knows it. Iola is not so sure. As they grow up and their friendship grows more complicated, some of their stories fall silent, but some will come true.

Pigeon is a journey through the uneasy half-forgotten memories of childhood, a story about wishful-thinking and the power of language.

Pijin, the Welsh language translation by Sian Northey was released on the same day as the English language edition.

About Alys:

Alys Conran's fiction, poetry, and translations have been placed in several competitions, including The Bristol Short Story Prize and The Manchester Fiction Prize. Having previously studied Literature at Edinburgh, she completed her MA in Creative Writing at Manchester. She also ran projects to increase access to creative writing and reading among traditionally excluded groups in North Wales. She was recently awarded a scholarship to write a second novel.

The Creative Non-Fiction Award Short List:

Peter Lord is considered to be the greatest living scholar on Welsh visual art and culture.

About The Tradition:

In The Tradition Peter Lord surveys the evolution of the visual culture of Wales from the Renaissance to the end of the twentieth century in this new, single-volume history. Written for everyone with an interest in the art and history of Wales, the volume illustrates some 400 landscapes and portrait paintings, prints and sculptures. The author describes both how the work emerged from its Welsh historical context and was related to the art of other cultures. Revealing the many discoveries made since its first publication of The Visual Culture of Wales series in 1998, The tradition is the only study now in print that encompasses the whole field of Welsh visual art.

It is published with the support of the National Museum of Wales, The Paul Mellon Foundation, the National Library of Wales, the Marc Fitch Fund, Swansea University and the Welsh Book Council. 

The definitive history of Welsh visual culture, for the first time contained within a single volume.

The Tradition includes 400 high-quality, full-colour reproductions of many famous and esoteric Welsh artworks, from artists such as Augustus John, Ceri Richards, Christopher Williams and many more.

About Peter:

Peter Lord was born in Exeter in 1948, and now lives near Aberystwyth. Initially, he worked as a sculptor, designing several large-scale public works, notably the Hywel Dda Memorial at Whitland. However, in 1986 he decided to concentrate in writing about visual culture, and since then has published some twelve studies on various aspects of the subject. These include the three volumes of The Visual Culture of Wales (University of Wales Press, 1998-2003), regarded as the standard work on the subject. In 1999, he wrote and presented a seven-part series about Welsh visual culture, , for BBC Wales, and he continues to interpret the subject on television and radio. He has lectured on Welsh Art in Germany and the United states, where he was a visiting scholar at the British Art Center at Yale.