Exiled poet Juan Gelman named Cervantes Prize winner

30th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2007, Madrid - The Argentinian poet Juan Gelman was named winner of the Spanish-speaking world's top literary award, the Cervantes Prize, yesterday, for his lifelong contribution to the literary arts, beating out major names such as Gabriel García Márquez and Ana María Matute.

30 November 2007

Madrid - The Argentinian poet Juan Gelman was named winner of the Spanish-speaking world's top literary award, the Cervantes Prize, yesterday, for his lifelong contribution to the literary arts, beating out major names such as Gabriel García Márquez and Ana María Matute.

Gelman, 77, who was forced into political exile during Argentina's Dirty War, and whose son and daughter-in-law disappeared during that period, has published more than 20 books of poetry - including 'The Game We're Playing' and 'Under Someone Else's Rain' - since 1956, and is considered Argentina's most highly regarded contemporary poet. He will become the fourth Argentinian to win the annual prize, also bestowed upon writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Culture Minister César Antonio Molina announced the panel's decision, saying Gelman has poetry "tattooed in his bones," adding: "He has suffered the poetry in his own flesh and that of his Jewish ancestors." Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called his life and poems "symbols of the word's resistance against horror," and "symbols of hope."

The prize, which carries €90,000 in prize money, will be presented to the poet by King Juan Carlos in an April ceremony at Miguel de Cervantes' birthplace in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. / KELLY RAMUNDO 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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