Combining two of the biggest literary events in Sri Lanka, The Gratiaen Trust in affiliation with the Standard Chartered Bank announced the five authors shortlisted for the 2012 Gratiaen Prize at the festival of literature and arts Colomboscope 2013, which commenced last evening.
The nominees this year are Rizvina Morseth de Alwis for her novel ‘It’s not in the Stars,’ Ruwanthie de Chickera and Nadie Kammallaweera for the drama ‘Kalumaali,’ Lal Medawattegedera for his novel ‘Playing Pillow Politics at MGK,’ Malinda Seneviratne for his collection of poetry titled ‘Open Words are for Love-Letting’ and Saroj Sinnetamby for the novel ‘The Professional’.
The Judges for the 2012 Gratiaen Prize are Jayantha Dhanapala (Chair), a distinguished former career diplomat and currently President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Lynn Ockersz, a senior journalist, poet and lecturer in journalism, and Sumathy Sivamohan, writer, dramatist, filmmaker and academic, who is currently Head of the Department of English at the University of Peradeniya.
This year, the Gratiaen Prize, founded in 1992 by the Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje, celebrates 20 years. It is awarded annually to the best work of literary writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan and was won by Madhubhashini Disanayaka-Ratnayake last year for her novel ‘There’s Something I Have to Tell You’.
Organised by Standard Chartered Bank, the British Council and the Goethe Institut, Colomboscope 2013 is “a festival where substance triumphs over style; a festival like this is to enrich your mind and nourish your soul,” in the words of festival curator Ashok Ferrey and will be held at the Park Street Mews today (23) and tomorrow (24).