The shortlist for the Gratiaen Prize 2013 has been announced. The Gratiaen Prize, presented in affiliation with Standard Chartered Bank, is awarded each year to the best submitted creative work in English, written by a Sri Lankan writer resident in Sri Lanka. Both published works and unpublished manuscripts may be submitted. The Gratiaen Prize, founded in 1993 by the Sri Lankan-born writer Michael Ondaatje, turns 21 this year.
The shortlist announcement took place on Monday 7 April, hosted by the British Council, as this event has been since the inception of the Prize. Each year, the Gratiaen shortlist is known to the judges alone until the evening of the announcement. Authors learned of their selection at the event, and were invited to speak about their work and short extracts from their submissions were read to the capacity audience at the British Council’s new multi-purpose library space.
This year the shortlist was made up exclusively of poetry and the shortlisted works for the Gratiaen Prize 2013 are:
- This Nothingness, a collection of poetry, in manuscript form, by Inosha Ijaz
- A Patchwork Soul, also poetry, in manuscript form, by Chamali Kariyawasam
- Edges, ar collection of poems, published by Fast Publishers, by Malinda Seneviratne
The judging panel for the Gratiaen Prize 2013 are:
Tissa Devendra (Chair) originally a student of literature, has had a distinguished career in the Public Service, working around Sri Lanka. After retirement he has served as Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Salaries Commission. He is the author of Tales from the Provinces, On Horseshoe Street, Memoirs of a Pen Pusher and Quest for Shangri La.
Dr Shavrika Damunupola Amarasekera is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Colombo. Her primary research interests are in childhood studies, postcolonial literatures and Sri Lankan writing in English and she has published work on childhood, ethnicity and Sri Lankan fiction in English. She has a keen interest in Sinhala literature in translation and was a judge of the HAI Goonetilleke prize in 2012.
Vijay Kumar Nagaraj is a researcher, writer and teacher. He has taught at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay, India and most recently at a secondary school in Colombo. He has worked on issues of rural community empowerment in Rajasthan and for a think-tank in global public policy research.
The winner of The Gratiaen Prize 2013 will be announced at a final awards ceremony held on Saturday 24 May.