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Vahni Capildeo Shortlisted for Jhalak Prize 2022

Tuesday, 19 Apr 2022

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We're delighted to see Vahni Anthony Ezekiel Capildeo's recent collection Like a Tree, Walking shortlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize! First awarded in March 2017, the Jhalak Prize and its new sister award Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize founded in 2020, seek to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers. The judges are Mary Jean Chan, Chimene Suleyman and Stephen Thompson.

The shortlisted titles are:

Consumed, Arifa Akbar (Sceptre)

Somebody Loves You, Mona Arshi (And Other Stories)

Like a Tree, Walking, Vahni Capildeo (Carcanet)

Keeping the House, Tice Cin (And Other Stories)

The Roles We Play, Sabba Khan (Myriad)

Things I Have Withheld, Kei Miller (Canongate Books)

The winner will be announced on 26 May 2022. Find out more on the prize website.

A huge congratulations to Vahni Anthony!
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Vahni Capildeo's Like a Tree, Walking is a fresh departure, even for this famously innovative poet. Taking its title from a story of sight miraculously regained, this book draws on Capildeo's interest in ecopoetics and silence. Many pieces originate in specific places, from nocturnes and lullabies in hilly Port of Spain to 'stillness exercises' recording microenvironments – emotional and aural – around English trees. These journeys offer a configuration of the political that makes a space for new kinds of address, declaration and relation.

Capildeo takes guidance from vernacular traditions of sensitivity ranging from Thomas A Clark and Iain Crichton Smith to the participants in a Leeds libraries project on the Windrush. Like a Tree, Walking is finally a book defined by how it writes love.

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