BY Nduta Waweru, 9:30am May 12, 2018,

Zambian-born Kayo Chingonyi wins Dylan Thomas Prize

Kayo Chingonyi, 2018 winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize. Photo: Twitter

Zambian-born British poet, Kayo Chingonyi, 31, is the winner of the £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize.

He was selected from a shortlist of six poets for his new book Kumukanda, which interrogates black masculinity.

He is the first British poet to win the prize.

The prize, run by the Swansea University, is awarded to poets aged 39 years old or younger.

Chair of judges Dai Smith praised Chingonyi’s “original and distinctive voice”, calling the poetry collection “mature and moving”.

“Unlike many other books by immigrant writers discussing memories of the homeland and the sensations of a new country, Kayo’s volume is not a lamentation for what he imagines has been lost, but it’s a new kind of celebration, albeit a vexed one, of the joys of living in a new country,” said  Kurt Heinzelman, a professor and judge of the award.

“It’s wonderful to receive an award in the name of Dylan Thomas, whose work was introduced to me by a really inspirational teacher by the name of Rachel Baroni who introduced me to Under Milk Wood and I’ve been fascinated by his work since then,” Chingonyi said of the prize.

Last Edited by:Nduta Waweru Updated: May 12, 2018


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