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Vote now for the new name of the Booker Prize trophy (Iris, obvs). 

Jonny Diamond

February 15, 2023, 10:16am

Now’s your chance to play a small part in literary history by helping to choose the name for the Booker Prize trophy. The elegant statuette, designed in 1969 by children’s book illustrator Jan Pieńkowski, appears to be a fleetingly clad woman holding a large bowl of porter over her head. For some reason the trophy fell out of use in the 1970s but was brought back last year. 

The folks at the Booker announced the naming competition earlier this year and have whittled down the 800-odd public suggestions to the following shortlist (sadly, as we all know, Boaty McBoatface is taken):

Beryl – after the late Beryl Bainbridge, a Booker Prize legend, who was shortlisted for the award five times, though never won.

Iris – after 1978 Booker winner Iris Murdoch, who was nominated for the prize seven times. Iris was also the Greek messenger of the gods.

Minerva – after the Roman goddess of poetry, wisdom and the arts.

Calliope – after the Greek muse who presided over eloquence and poetry.

Bernie – after Bernice Rubens, the first woman to win the Booker (1970) and Bernardine Evaristo, the first Black woman to win the prize (2019).

Janina – primarily a Polish name meaning ‘God is gracious’, and the female form of Jan, after Jan Pienkowski, the Polish-born designer of the trophy.

I’m sorry but the prize should so obviously be called “Iris” it’s not even funny. So please, head over to the Booker Prize site and vote “Iris.” You have until February 20 to do what’s right. 

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