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Literary nods for Cardiff Met fantasy and folklore academic



Dr Dimitra Fimi

​A Cardiff Met academic has been shortlisted for a national award for her latest book and has also been named as part of the judging panel for a prestigious literary prize this autumn.

Dr Dimitra Fimi's recently published monograph Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children's Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology has picked up a nomination for the The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award - an annual book prize established by the Folklore Society to encourage the study of folklore and to commemorate the life and work of the distinguished scholar Katharine Mary Briggs.

Dr Fimi, a Senior Lecturer in English and Programme Director for Humanities courses at Cardiff Met, specialises in fantasy literature, especially the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, children's fantasy, and myth and folklore and has published extensively around these topics.  Her critical edition of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, co-edited with Dr Andrew Higgins, a former PhD student of Dr Fimi's, won the Tolkien Society Best Book Award earlier in 2017. Her latest monograph examines Celtic myth, mostly via medieval Irish and Welsh texts, and the many ways it has been refashioned and appropriated in children's fantasy literature, from the 1960s to the 2010s.

As well as her shortlisted monograph, Dr Fimi has also recently published two literary articles via the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). The first marks the 50th anniversary of classic children's novel The Owl Service, by Alan Garner, inspired by one of the tales in the medieval Welsh Mabinogion The article celebrates this important anniversary and explains the book's use of Welsh legend. In the second piece of work, Dr Fimi focusses on world-building in fantasy literature; exploring the genre of fantasy and its propensity to build entire alternative worlds, full of mythical creatures, and often with extended timelines and invented languages and landscapes, with reference to Tolkien but also Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling.

Alongside her own published work and awards Dr Fimi has also been sitting on the judging panel of the 2017 Wales Book of the Year prize, which will be announced this November at a ceremony in Cardiff.

The prize is presented to the best Welsh-language and English-language works first published in the preceding year in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.

Speaking about her nomination for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Dr Fimi said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award, which has been won in the past by giants in the field, such as Marina Warner, Jack Zipes, and Hilda Ellis Davidson."