Two Palestinian Poetry Collections Make List of Finalists for 2022 Derek Walcott Prize

AUGUST 25, 2023 — Arrowsmith Press has announced the finalists for its 2022 Derek Walcott Prize, which goes to a poetry collection published in English by a writer who is not a citizen of the United States.

Among the 15 finalists are two Palestinian collections: Maya Abu Al-Hayyat’s You Can Be the Last Leaf, translated by Fady Joudah and published by Milkweed, and Mosab Abu Toha’s Things You May Find Hidden In My Ear,  published by City Lights.

The prize, granted by Arrowsmith in partnership with The Derek Walcott Festival in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, includes a $1,000 cash award, along with a reading at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.

This year’s judge was Canisia Lubrin; the winner is set to be announced on November 2nd, 2023 at the Arrowsmith fall book launch.

The complete longlist:

  • Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, “You Can Be the Last Leaf” translated by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions)

  • Tara Bergin “Savage Tales” (Carcanet Press)

  • Emily Berry, “Unexhausted Time” (Faber & Faber)

  • Julia Cimafiejeva, “Motherfield” Translated by Valzhyna Mort & Hanif Abdurraqib (Deep Vellum)

  • Krystyna Dąbrowska, “Tideline” translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Mira Rosenthal, Karen Kovacik (Zephyr Press)

  • Jacques Darras, “John Scotus Eriugena at Laon & Other Poems” translated by Richard Sieburth (World Poetry Books)

  • Zaffar Kunial, “England’s Green” (Faber & Faber)

  • Arji Manuelpillai, “Improvised Explosive Device” (Penned in the Margins)

  • Tawanda Mulalu, “Please Make Me Pretty, I Don’t Want To Die” (Princeton University Press)

  • Susan Musgrave, “Exculpatory Lilies” (Penguin Random House – McClelland & Stewart)

  • Don Paterson, “The Arctic” (Faber & Faber)

  • Sue Sinclair, “Almost Beauty”  (Goose Lane Editions – Icehouse Press)

  • Ko Ko Thett, “Bamboophobia”  (Zephyr)

  • Mosab Abu Toha, “Things You May Find Hidden In My Ear”  (City Lights Booksellers & Publishers)

  • Nachoem Wijnberg, “Nachoem M. Wijnberg” translated by David Colmer (New York Review Books)