The SEA Write Award committee on Wednesday praised the diversity of styles when it announced this year's seven finalists for Southeast Asia's most prestigious literary prize.
From a longlist of 18 poetry books, past winners Chokchai Bandit and Jadej Kamjorndet have managed to make the cut, giving them a chance to win for the second time.
Selection committee chairman Dr Pichet Saengthong said that it had been a very tough process going through 101 entries and selecting seven finalists, involving several vehement discussions among the selection committee.
Comparing to previous years, he explained that the submitted works have more variety, reflecting the determination of the new generation of Thai poets. He added that while there are a lot of attempts to preserve and continue the tradition of Thai poetry, there is much more open-mindedness in learning to write poetry in free-verse style.
The winner will be announced in September.
The seven Thai poetry books (the English titles are unofficial translations) in the running for the SEA Write Award:
- Khong Fak Chak Daen Klai (Souvenir From A Faraway Land) by Chokchai Bandit
- Tang Tong Kan Kwam Mai Khong Phuen Thi (Each One Of Us Wants The Meaning Of Space) by Siwakan Patumsut
- Ban Nai Mok (A House In The Mist) by Sukhumpot Khamsukhum
- Phu Ok Bap Sen Khop Fa (The One Who Designs The Horizon Line) by Jadej Kamjorndet
- Mekha Charik (The Pilgrimage Of The Cloud) by Thamakon
- Lok Bai Lek (A Small World) by Palang Piangphirun
- Hua Chai Hong Thi Ha (The Heart's Fifth Chamber) by Angkan Chanthathip