The Booker Prize trophy name contest shortlist

14 February 2023

The Booker Prize has been on the lookout for a name for the statuette that is presented to winners of the British literary award. After combing through suggestions, a shortlist of six potential names has been published, and everyone is invited to vote for their favourite:

  • 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 kind of like Minerva, but Calliope was the most popular as of the last time I looked at the trophy name post on the Booker Prize Instagram page.

Voting closes next Monday, 20 February, with the winner being named on Monday 27 February 2023.


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