With thanks, The Somerset Maughham Award Judges:
Fred D’Aguiar’s fifteen books include, poetry, fiction, plays and a memoir. His latest publications are, a memoir, Year of Plagues (2021) and a collection of poetry, Letters to America (2020) and a pamphlet, Grace Notes (Fair Acre, 2021) His most recent novel, Children of Paradise (2015) is based on events at Jonestown, Guyana.
Born in London in 1960 of Guyanese parents, he grew up in Guyana and returned to the UK for his secondary and tertiary education. He trained as a psychiatric nurse before attending the University of Kent. Currently, he is Professor of English at UCLA
Ardashir Vakil is a novelist and short story writer. He has published two award-winning novels – Beach Boy, winner of a Betty Trask Award and One Day shortlisted for the Encore Award. His stories have been anthologized, read on the radio and published in prestigious journals. His most recent short story ‘Laptop’ featured in The Iowa Review. He teaches Creative Writing at Goldsmiths. His articles on pedagogy and practical advice for teachers and students of Creative Writing have been published by the International Journal of English Teaching, Changing English: Studies In Culture and Education.
Roseanne Watt is a writer, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. Her dual-language debut collection, Moder Dy, was published by Polygon in May 2019, after receiving the prestigious Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets under 30. Moder Dy subsequently received both an Eric Gregory and Somerset Maugham Award in 2020, and was named joint-winner of the Highland Book Prize 2019.