The Jhalak Prize and the Children’s Book Prize

I have had some more wonderful shortlisting news recently – The Island at the End of Everything has been shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize, and for the Children’s Book Award! Both are special in their different ways.

The Jhalak Prize seeks to provide a platform for writers of colour, and also is open to all genres. Island is proudly repping kids lit on an incredible shortlist that includes some of my favourite books from the past year: Meera Kandasamy’s When I Hit You, and Kayo Chingonyi’s Kumukanda, which was on the Costa Poetry Prize shortlist I helped judge last year. More here.

The Children’s Book Award is voted for entirely by children, from start to end. Children’s books are usually reviewed, lauded, or judged by adults, and so to know that kids are connecting with Ami and her story to this extent is so special. More here.

Soul Keeping Company

I just learnt of the passing of my favourite poet, Lucie Brock-Broido, who died yesterday aged 61. Her work showed me how language could be twisted, melded, forced & forged into something new & beautiful & shining. My heart is a little bit broken.

Here is an interview she gave about Emily Dickinson.

Here is one of my favourite poems, which John Burnside introduced me to, just as I started to take my writing seriously.