Windham-Campbell Prizes Announce New Podcast Series

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Wordspark

ADRIAN WHITE

The Windham-Campbell Prizes have announced that a third season of the Windham-Campbell Prizes Podcast will launch on 29 May 2024, as part of an ongoing partnership with literary website Lit Hub.

The new season will comprise of eight episodes, each featuring one of this year’s recipients: for Fiction, Deirdre Madden and Kathryn Scanlan; for Nonfiction, Christina Sharpe and Hanif Abdurraqib; for Drama, Christopher Chen and Sonya Kelly; and for Poetry, m. nourbeSe philip and Jen Hadfield.

Hosted by Mike Kelleher, Director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, each episode is a conversation with prize recipients about the books and plays they love, where they share insights into their writing lives and careers to date.

The first episode launches on 29 May, with a new episode releasing every two weeks.

–      Hanif Abdurraqib discusses The Women of Brewster Place, the critically acclaimed American novel by Gloria Naylor exploring the lives and relationship of seven Black women, inspiring two television series and a stage musical adaptation

–      Deirdre Madden chooses Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction about three generations of women navigating loss and survival

–      Christopher Chen selects the 20th century Argentine short story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Andrew Hurley) which uses the vehicle of speculative fiction to explore philosophical themes

–      Christina Sharpe considers Counternarratives by John Keene, a collection of 13 short stories and novellas that counter, challenge, or subvert established narratives about race and slavery in the history of the Americas, from the 17th century to today

–      Jen Hadfield discusses Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, a personal narrative by Annie Dillard who details her explorations near her home in Virginia and shares her meditations on nature and life

–      Sonya Kelly contemplates The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by French journalist Jean Dominique-Bauby (translated by Jeremy Leggett) reflecting on his life before and after experiencing locked-in syndrome due to a stroke

–      Kathryn Scanlan considers Joe Gould’s Secret by Joseph Mitchell, the true, compelling story of an eccentric writer in New York who both straddled and defied the bohemian and Beat generations

–      m. nourbeSe philip selects Born To Slow Horses, a series of poetic meditations on islands and exile, language and ritual, and the force of personal and historical passions and grief by Barbadian poet and academic Kamau Brathwaite

The Windham-Campbell Prizes are a major global prize that recognises eight writers each year for literary achievement across four categories – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. With annual prize money exceeding $1.4m USD – and total prize money awarded over the past decade at over $18m USD – they are one of the most significant prizes in the world. Each recipient is gifted an unrestricted grant to support their writing and allow them to focus on their work independent of financial concerns rewarding each with $175,000.

Previous recipients include Percival Everett (Fiction, United States, 2023), Tsitsi Dangarembga (Fiction, Zimbabwe, 2022), Margo Jefferson (Nonfiction, United States, 2022), Vivian Gornick (Nonfiction, United States, 2021), Bhanu Kapil (Poetry, United Kingdom, 2020), Kwame Dawes (Poetry, United States, Jamaica, Ghana, 2019), Cathy Park Hong (Poetry, United States, 2018), Lorna Goodison (Poetry, Jamaica/Canada, 2018), Suzan-Lori Parks (Drama, United States, 2018), Marina Carr (Drama, Ireland, 2017), C. E. Morgan (Fiction, United States, 2016), Helen Garner (Nonfiction, Australia, 2016), Edmund de Waal (Nonfiction, United Kingdom, 2015), Teju Cole (Fiction, United States/Nigeria, 2015), Helon Habila (Fiction, Nigeria, 2015), Pankaj Mishra (Fiction, India, 2014), Jeremy Scahill (Nonfiction, United States, 2013) and James Salter (Fiction, United States, 2013).

The Prizes were the brainchild of lifelong partners Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell. The couple were deeply involved in literary circles, collected books avidly, read voraciously as well as penning various works. For years they had discussed the idea of creating an award to highlight literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. When Campbell passed away unexpectedly in 1988, Windham took on the responsibility for making this shared dream a reality. The first prizes were announced in 2013.

The Prizes are administered by Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and nominees for the Prizes are considered by judges who remain anonymous before and after the prize announcement. Recipients write in the English language and may live in any part of the world.

The podcast is available https://link.chtbl.com/wcpodcast or via your preferred platform.

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