Calder Valley author is longlisted for £10,000 Portico Prize for Literature

A Calder Valley author has been longlisted for the £10,000 Portico Prize for Literature.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 3:00 pm
Benjamin Myers
Benjamin Myers

Male Tears, the latest book by Benjamin Myers, has been longlisted for the book prize which celebrates Northern writing.

The book is a debut collection of short stories that brings together over fifteen years of work tackling the nature of masculinity.

Myers, who has also written The Gallows Pole which is currently being turned into a BBC drama, was joint winner of the Portico Prize in 2015 and was also shortlisted for the Prize in 2019.

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Mike Murphy, member of the Society of Readers and Writers, said: “As judges of the longlist, we were looking for titles that would move the needle on what people expect from Northern literature. It would be wrong to think of this as a parochial prize.

"Readers will find a huge variety of perspectives, of experiences and of takes on where we are now in the North of England and beyond. Whatever you’re after, it’ll be there in the longlist somewhere.”

Lynne Allan, Chair of The Portico Library said: “The Society of Readers and Writers have excelled themselves with the diverse and exciting choices they have made. Both independent and larger publishers are represented and we are particularly pleased with the innovative mix of formats and genres including fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir and biography.

"New and exciting voices sit alongside established authors. Each one of the longlisted books has the power to engage and move the reader, whatever their background, and reflect the myriad rich experience of Northern life. Our eminent panel of judges have a formidable task in front of them.”

The Portico Prize was established in 1985 to celebrate the strong regional and literary identity of the North of England with the aim of raising awareness of its historical, cultural and literary heritage.

A shortlist of six books – to be announced on December 7 – will be selected by a panel of judges, chaired by Gary Younge, the award-winning author, broadcaster and a Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester.

He is joined by the broadcaster Melanie Sykes (also Editor-in-Chief of The Frank Magazine and co-presenter of the Sykes & Savidge Book Club); the award-winning author and former Portico Prize winner Sarah Hall; the poet and essayist and former Young People’s Laureate for London Momtaza Mehri; and Anita Singh, arts and entertainment editor at The Daily Telegraph.