Guyanese poet Ian McDonald is among a group of writers/poets who have been short-listed for the 2009 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
According to a press release from the Royal Society of Literature the 10,000 Pounds prize is awarded annually to a book of the highest literary merit – fiction, non-fiction or poetry – best evoking the spirit of a place. This year’s judges: Selina Hastings, Philip Hensher and Peter Porter commended the “compelling, individual voices, taut narrative and impressive research in six remarkable books from across a complete range of genres.”
McDonald’s Selected Poems (Macmillan Caribbean) was among the six. According to a review McDonald’s work reveals him as “a poet, deeply absorbed in and sensitive to his surroundings.” The other books short-listed are Laura Beatty’s Pollard, James Buchan’s The Gate of Air, Alexandra Fuller’s The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, Adam Nicholson’s Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History and Sarah Wise’s The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum. The winner will be announced on Monday.