Saba Literary Prize juries award 2021 winners from prose, poetry and more

The end-of-year ceremony presented winners online, as Saba organisers gear up to mark the 20th anniversary of the prize next year. Photo via Saba Literary Prize., 24 Dec 2021 - 18:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

The most notable names and works of the Georgian literature scene over the past year were celebrated on Thursday in the latest edition of the Saba Literary Prize, with 14 winners earning awards for their prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, as well as translation work.

With the other of the two principal literary awards of the local scene cancelled earlier this year, the 2021 Saba edition had gained additional significance, ahead of its 20th anniversary next year. Bringing their end-of-year occasion to readers, organisers hosted a remote awards ceremony with pandemic circumstances in mind.

This year's Novel of the Year Prize went to Tamta Melashvili for her 2020 work, released by Sulakauri Publishing and only available in Georgian at the time of the awards, while Nugzar Zazanashvili was singled out for his poetry collection in the related category, and Giorgi Sosiashvili earned the prose collection award for his Four Stories.

Tamta Melashvili was unveiled as the Novel of the Year Prize recipient for the 2021 Saba edition. Photo via Saba Literary Prize.

Playwright Paata Tsikolia, a recognised name of Georgia's rich contemporary theatre scene, received the Play of the Year Prize for Medea s01e06, while Nana Trapaidze and Nino Dianosashvili earned Literary Critique of the Year honours for their works out of four nominated selections.

Jury teams named Irine Tabaghua and Nana Abuladze as newcomers of the 2021, with the Literary Debut of the Year distinction going to the two authors for their maiden books. In the Essay and Documentary Prose section, they singled out Mariam Khutsurauli.

The cover for the play 'Medea s01e06' by Paata Tsikolia. Photo via Saba Literary Prize.

The prize in other non-fiction category - Georgian Literary Reflections on Soviet and Post-Soviet History -  went to Iva Pezuashvili and Bidzina Makashvili, courtesy of Transparency International Georgia.

Giorgi Lobzhanidze and Ani Kopaliani were the translators celebrated in the latest ceremony, the former for his work on making Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Rumi accessible to readers in Georgian, and the latter for her translation of T.S. Eliot's 1939 Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Rounding off the annual prize, the award for Distinguished Contribution to Georgian Literature was presented to poet and translator Givi Shahnazari, known for his work on translating Armenian and Russian poetry and plays into Georgian across decades, and honoured with the Order of Honour of Georgia and the 1998 Fridtjof Nansen International Prize, among other awards.