Abigail Parry's I Think We're Alone Now shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year Award 2024

Abigail Parry's I Think We're Alone Now shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year Award 2024


Abigail Parry's second collection I Think We're Alone Now has been shortlisted for the English-language poetry category of the Wales Book of the Year Award 2024. Last year it was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize.

The three-book English-language poetry shortlist for Wales Book of the Year was revealed on the BBC Radio Wales Lynn Bowles programme on 12 May 2024.  Literature Wales's Executive Director, Claire Furlong, and one of this year’s judges, Dylan Moore, announced the English language category shortlists and discussed the awards and the judging process.  Dylan Moore spoke about all the books on the English language shortlists, which had been chosen from 143 books submitted.  Of Abigail Parry's collection, he said:

'I Think We're Alone Now by Abigail Parry is a really good, superbly written book which deals with all sorts of philosophical issues ... really worth spending some time with.'

The English language judges for 2024 were Dylan Moore, Patrice Lawrence, Pascale Petit and Rachel Trezise.  On behalf of the judging panel, Dylan Moore said:

'From Valleys villages to the mean streets of Canada and fantastical worlds, these books demonstrate the breadth of writing in, of, from and about Wales today. Their authors spin worlds out of words, challenging orthodoxies and inspiring imagination, hope and courage.'

The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres and in both English and Welsh.  There are four categories in each language – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and Children & Young People, with one of the four category winners announced as the overall winner, and claiming the title Wales Book of the Year. There are twelve awards in total with a collective prize fund of £14,000. In both Welsh and English there are four category winners, one People’s Choice winner and one overall winner.  Each of the category winners are awarded £1,000, with an additional £3,000 going to the main prize winners in both languages. The winning authors will receive specially made Book of the Year trophies designed by artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

There will be a Wales Book of the Year shortlist event at the Hay Festival on 27 May. Leusa Llewelyn, Artistic Director of Literature Wales, will be in conversation with four of the authors shortlisted for the 2024 Wales Book of the Year Awards.   Book tickets here.

The winners will be revealed at a ceremony on 4 July 2024 at a ceremony at Galeri Caernarfon. Tickets will be available via Galeri's website here.

Voting for the People's Choice Award is via Nation Cymru here.  Voting closes 14 June 2024.

Full details of the awards are on the Literature Wales' website here.

A link to BBC Radio Wales's Lynne Bowles programme is here.  Forward to 15:13 to listen to the discussion about the Wales Book of the Year Award, and to 15:31 to hear Dylan Moore speaking about the books shortlisted for the poetry category.


Abigail Parry's second collection I Think We're Alone Now, published by Bloodaxe Books in November last year, was also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2023. The poems explore intimacy and failures of intimacy, and deal in pop music, etymology, surveillance equipment, church architecture and beetles.

Her debut collection Jinx, published by Bloodaxe Books in March 2018, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2018 and for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize 2019, and was named a Book of the Year in The New Statesman (Marina Warner), The Telegraph (Tristram Fane Saunders) and the Morning Star (Kate Wakeling).

Abigail Parry lives in Cardiff and is available for interview.

For interview requests or review copies of I Think We're Alone Now, please contact Christine Macgregor at Bloodaxe Books at publicity@bloodaxebooks.com.


Abigail Parry was guest poet on the Southword Poetry Podcast from Munster Literature Centre in April 2024.  Abigail was in conversation with host Clíona Ní Ríordáin and read poems from her two collections. A very lively, wide-ranging and thoughtful discussion. 



I Think We're Alone Now was given a brilliant review at the top of Mab Jones’s New Poetry for November 2023 feature in Wales's Buzz Magazine

‘Shortlisted for this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize, this is a book which showcases Parry’s masterly grasp of some of the more challenging poetry principles: space, for one thing. Story, for another … there’s much to ponder, amuse, excite, and admire … as one reads this beetle-shiny, brilliantine, brain-bug of a book.’ – Mab Jones, Buzz Magazine


'I Think We’re Alone Now is Parry’s second collection. Only published in November, it has been shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious poetry award – the TS Eliot Prize. Parry herself defines the book as running of failure – as her intention was for it to be about intimacy. Instead, the poems range from pop music, to etymology, surveillance equipment to cervical examination and church articles – but yet, intimacy is found in the reading experience and each poem’s genuine honesty.' Wales Arts Review (Best Welsh Poetry of 2023)


‘The book I’d like to recommend is Abigail Parry’s I Think We’re Alone Now. I first heard Abigail Parry perform her work at this year’s Penarth Literary Festival Poetry Showcase and was caught by her vivid voice and the intelligence of her rhythm and clarity.  She can shock you and skin you with her wit, yet her poems feel strangely merciful, cleverly observant, and filled with references to everything from Rilke and Shakespeare to Richie Cordell and Radiohead.’ – Katie Munnik, Wales Arts Review (Books of the Year 2023)


For links to videos and to more reviews for I Think We're Alone Now, see: https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/news?articleid=1350

[12 May 2024]

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