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News and comments and events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible, Granada, 'la bella y la bestia, and Federico Garcia Lorca's complicated love-hate relationship with the city, etc

Ida Vitale - 2016 Winner

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Fri, June 09, 2017 18:58:43

The other night I was at the Lorca Centre to attend the prize-giving ceremony for the City of Granada-Federico García Lorca International Prize for Poetry, to give it its full title. The winner was a Uruguayan poet called Ida Vitale, at 93 the oldest award winner yet, a close contemporary of Mario Benedetti (1920-2009).

Choosing such an old woman might have seemed like a bit of a risk if it were not for the obvious vitality of the prize-winner. For the Prize organisers consider it absolutely crucial that the poet selected for the award be present at the official ceremony. This is because the whole occasion is set up to promote the city culturally, so when Blanca Varela (winner in 2006) was too unwell to attend, they decided henceforth to withhold the quite considerable prize money in the case of the winner not coming to collect it. Indeed, in 2011, the Cuban poet Fina García Marruz, aged 88 at the time, was also not well enough to attend, so I wonder if she had to forgo the cash prize? Sounds a bit hard, doesn’t it?

The average age of the prize-winning poets is now well over 80. This is because the Lorca Prize is expressly awarded in recognition of a poet’s entire life’s work. The idea is that the occasion will be of mutual benefit to both city and poet, in that on the one hand the poet’s established reputation is further enhanced by being associated with the city that was home to Andalusia’s greatest twentieth century poet (?), while the city is allowed to bask for a while in the fame and glory of that particular year’s prize-winner.

The City of Granada-Federico García Lorca International Prize for Poetry is a subject I have blogged on on a number of occasions previously, though not since September 2015. I have commented primarily on the advanced age of the award winners and secondly on the delicately maintained balance between Spanish and Latin American poets. Indeed, if we count Tomas Segovia as half Mexican and half Spanish (he was born in Valencia), six-and-a-half of the winners have been from the Iberian peninsula and six-and-a-half from America.

Another common denominator is winning the Reina Sofia before or after the Lorca. I think nine of the thirteen Lorcas have won both. While not wanting to talk of a ‘copycat’ syndrome, there is no doubt that the two prizes are fishing in the same waters.

And lastly, before Ida Vitale, only three of the winners had been lady poets. Member of council for culture Rosa Aguilar made use of her place on the podium to criticise this fact. The award going to Vitale is recognition of the value of poetry made by women, something said counsellor is keen to promote.

While not denying the great contribution made by these prestigious winners of a prestigious prize, I have to express some regret that the Lorca Prize is not granted in a rather more adventurous spirit. Thinking of the struggle it took Lorca to establish himself as a poet and win economic independence to pursue his chosen vocation, the idea of a Poetry Prize named after him seems like a good one. Lorca came close at one time to giving up and knuckling under, tempted to apply for a proper job to please his exasperated father, who saw no future in his son’s poetic bent and lack of conventional professional ambition. (See my following post.) A little formal recognition at the beginning of his literary career in the form of a cash award would have helped him on his way and relieved him of some years’ anxiety and freed him from an at times humiliating dependence on his father.

The City of Granada International Poetry Prize, however, is not that kind of award. Worth 30,000 Euros (reduced from 50,000 when times got hard and money short during the Crisis), the city is not interested in taking risks and seeks its winners exclusively among well established poets who in return for the dosh can lend the city something of their achieved acclaim and glory.



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Granada-Lorca Poetry Prize

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Thu, September 24, 2015 22:02:09

The City of Granada-Federico García Lorca International Prize for Poetry is a subject I have blogged on on a number of occasions previously: #post45, #post 43, #post 39, #post 24, #post 5 for example.

The latest winner (for 2014) was Granada's very own Rafael Guillén, born in 1933, so 81 when he got the prize; member of the Generation of the 50s, one of the most important poets of his generation, etc; with an assortment of awards, though not (yet) the Reina Sofia.

Rafael Guillén was one of the poets who emerged with the group "Versos al aire libre" in post-War Granada. He remained prominent in the local cultural scene and finally managed with other local authors, most notably Elena Martín Vivaldi and Antonio Carvajal, to get the Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada set up in 2001.

I got this from the official Premio Internacional de Poesia Ciudad de Granada/Federico Garcia Lorca http://www.premiogarcialorca.es/actividades.htm

In the course of my blogging I would try to define and refine the profile of a Lorca Prize winner and sometimes tried – without any success – to predict the next year’s winner.

First of all, the average age of the award winner is 80. Secondly, six have been from Spain and five from Latin America, if we count Tomas Segovia as a Mexican. So that’s fairly evenly balanced. But if we look more closely at those broad categories, we find that no less than four of the Spaniards were Andalusians and three of the Latinos Mexicans. Look at this overview:

YEAR

WINNER

AGE

Reina Sofia

OTHER

FROM

2014

Rafael Guillen

81

-


Andalucia

2013

Eduardo Lizalde

84

-


Mexico

2012

Pablo Garcia Baena

89

2008

Principe de Asturias

Andalucia

2011

Fina Garcia Marruz

88

2011

Pablo Neruda

Cuba

2010

María Victoria Atencia,

79

2014


Andalucia

2009

Jose Manuel Caballero

83

2004

Cervantes

Andalucia

2008

Tomas Segovia

81

-

Juan Rulfo

Spain/Mexico

2007

Francisco Brines

75

2010


Spain

2006

Blanca Leonor Varela

80

2007

Octavio Paz

Peru

2005

José Emilio Pacheco

66

2009

Cervantes

Mexico

2004

Angel Gonzalez

79

1996

Principe de Asturias

Spain

We see that eight of the winners also won the Reina Sofia; three of them had already won it, four of them would win it later, and one, Fina Garcia Marruz, won them both in the same year, 2011. Otherwise, nearly all of them have won other important awards, including the Cervantes on two occasions.

Just three of the winners have been lady poets: two Latinas and one Andaluza.

So, down to the predictions for the next Award. Isn’t it a woman’s turn? And possibly-probably Latin America’s. Only three countries are represented among the five Latin American winners (Mexico, Peru, Cuba). So maybe it's the turn of another country.

The winner may well be among the 41 poets who were nominated for this year’s prize but lost out to Granada’s Guillen. Among those names are two I have considered as potential winners in previous blogs. One is Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua. Once I thought he might be too radical, having been Minister of Culture with the Sandanista Government between 1979 and 1988. However, he recently won the Reina Sofía, which puts him in with a good chance for the City of Granada. The other is Chilean, Nicanor Parra Sandoval, who at 101 years of age has probably outlived his usefulness for the Award.

Among the 41 there are 9 women. As I reckon it must be a woman’s turn, if I have time I am going to study the form for a future blog.


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WIN THE “LORCA”, AND DIE

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Sat, February 08, 2014 06:47:01

"But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near"

Eduardo Lizalde, Mexican poet, winner of the X Lorca Poetry Prize, feels honoured to receive the award, as any poet would. It must also be an uncomfortable reminder of his own mortality.

"I’m an old man and I’ve seen many of my fellow poets pass away, like Juan Gelman who was a year younger than me.” Gelman died on 14 January this year. On 26 January he was followed to the beyond by José Emilio Pacheco, winner of the II Lorca Prize eight years ago. Indeed, four of the first five winners ­- Ángel González, Blanca Varela, and Tomás Segovia as well as the aforementioned Pacheco - are already dead. Lizalde says he was bound to all of them by friendship as well as chosen profession. “I am a survivor,” Lizalde claimed gallantly.

Lizalde is 85. The average age of the other five surviving prize winners is 87. So Lizalde could be accused of a modicum of over-optimism.

Because the Lorca Prize is awarded in recognition of a poet’s life’s work, the 40% mortality rate is not so surprising. From its initial concept, the purpose of the City of Granada-Federico García Lorca International Prize for Poetry, to give it its full and official title, has been to allow the city to bask a little in the fame and glory of the poetry prize-winner.

Last year's and this year's award ceremony. Spot the difference?

It works something like this: Garcia Lorca was Granada’s greatest son and one of the greatest poets of the past century, and linking the two to living poets of quasi-universal acclaim will mutually benefit both city and the poet it endorses. So each year, praise for the virtues of the winning poet has the secondary effect of enhancing the cultural status of the city. To this end, the services of Don Felipe y de Doña Letizia, Prince and Princess of Asturia, who presided over the first and the latest award-giving ceremony, have been instrumental in ensuring that Granada is reflected favourably in relevant cultural circles and beyond, thanks to the extra media exposure achieved. The association of the Prince and Princess of Asturias with the Prize guarantees for the city a greater repercussion in the media than would be attained by a more modest arrangement in terms of pomp and pecuniary reward.

From the outset, with its initial presentation in New York in 2004, the Lorca Prize sought to take advantage of the aura contributed by the winning poet. The presence of the prize-winning poet is so essential to the promotion of the city, that when the third winner, the Peruvian Blanca Varela, was too unwell to attend the function, with the consequential loss of divulgatory clout, the organisers decided henceforth to withhold the quite considerable prize money in the case of the winner not being present to collect it. In 2011, the Cuban poet Fina García Marruz, aged 88 at the time, was also not well enough to attend, and so presumably had to go without the cash prize.

Great poets are by their nature dissidents, Lizalde, who was proud of having been banned by the Franco regime, would insist, somewhat defiantly. Even so, they can be harnessed to what I see as manifestly conservative political ends.

[Source used: G. CAPPA Granada Hoy 05.02.2014]





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So Juan Gelman will not be winning the Lorca Prize.

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Sun, January 19, 2014 13:32:28

On Tuesday 14 January the Argentinian poet Juan Gelman died at his home in Mexico City and so, in spite of winning the Juan Rulfo in 2000, the Reina Sofía and the Pablo Neruda in 2005, and the Cervantes in 2007, the Lorca Prize – the International City of Granada Garcia Lorca Prize for Poetry, to give it its full title - has alluded him forever.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1930, he had lived in Mexico since 1988. Son of Ukrainian immigrants he got into poetry on hearing his brother recite Pushkin to him in Russian, a language Gelman, apparently, did not understand. On his death, he was recognised as one of the greatest poets of twentieth century Spanish literature, winning practically every important prize in the Spanish-speaking world, with the exception of the Lorca.

I had been tipping Juan Gelman for the Prize since October 2010 (blog #post5) on the basis of his literary profile which fitted that of a Lorca Prize winner perfectly. Not only was he one of most widely read and influential poets in Spanish, translated into fourteen major languages, there were a number of other essential criteria that he fulfilled.

One. At 83, he was just the right age.

He is from Argentina. My reckoning was that, as the prize tends to alternate between Spain and Latin America, and as, in 2013, previous Latino winners had been from just three countries – Mexico, Peru, and Cuba – a poet of the calibre of Juan Gelman from Argentina must fancy his chances. (However, it must now be said, that, while five of the ten Prize winners have been Latinos, three of them have been Mexicans, and three of the five Spanish winners have been Andalusians, so the Prize does not depend only on geography.)

Another factor in his favour, Latin American prize-winners are likely to be holders of the Pablo Neruda Prize (as Gelman was), or the Octavio Paz Prize, or both (as in the case of José Emilio Pacheco, 2005-winner), and maybe the Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature (Gelman’s first major award).

Also: the Lorca and the Reina Sofía Prize go hand-in-hand. If a Lorca Prize winner is not already a Reina Sofía Prize holder, the chances are s/he soon will be. Seven of the nine/ten Lorca Prize winners have also been Reina Sofía Prize holders. Three won the Lorca Prize first, three the Reina Sofía, and, in 2011, Fina García Marruz of Cuba actually won both. Gelman, who won it in 2005, must have felt he was in the running for the Lorca ever since.

Gelman even had the Cervantes, awarded for all literary genres and not just poetry. So far it has only been claimed by one Lorca Prize winner, José Emilio Pacheco, second winner in 2005, who went on to win both the Cervantes and the Reina Sofia in 2009.

The award’s main aim is to bestow prestige on the city of Granada and it is only awarded to well established poets who already have a long list of published and recognised works to their name and whose reputation would reflect back on the city. It seems that the judges judged that Granada could do without Gelman’s stamp of authority as the prize became more and more established.

Previous blogs 5, 24, and 39

Aknowlegements to BERNARDO MARÍN El Pais 15 Jan 2014



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Lorca Prize 2013

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Sat, October 12, 2013 18:02:40

Eduardo Lizalde, winner of the X City of Granada-Federico García Lorca International Prize for Poetry, was born in Mexico in 1929 and so is 84 years old.

So we can say that Lizalde has the profile of a Lorca Prize winner in that he is in his 80s and this year it was Latin America’s turn. Yet he is atypical in that, though a previous poetry prize winner, he has won no major award outside his native land and he is the third Mexican of the 5 Latin American winners, so one wonders. [Three of the five Spanish winners have been Andalusians.] I have long been predicting success for the Argentinian Juan Gelman who is 83 and has already won the Juan Rulfo in 2000, the Reina Sofía and the Pablo Neruda in 2005, and the Cervantes in 2007! [See http://blog.granadalabella.eu/#post24 ] Latin American prize-winners are, on balance, likely to be holders of the Pablo Neruda Prize, or the Octavio Paz Prize, or both (Pacheco). Or at least the Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature.

Lizalde is, they say, a widely acknowledged poet in Latin America even though he has as yet not had any Spanish award to add to his name. The Lorca and the Reina Sofía tend to go hand-in-hand, so he can be hopeful of more recognition this side of the Wide Sargasso Sea in future.

Laura García-Lorca, representing the Lorca Foundation on the judges’ panel, is at any rate happy about the choice. He will, she is convinced, consolidate the reputation of the award "already world famous". And this is the point of the prize: prestigious poets are chosen to further enhance the prestige of Lorca’s Granada, which enhances their prestige with the hope of going on to win further prizes and prestige.

Well, as we blogged only yesterday, the Lorca Centre will be operational by next June. Will we see Eduardo Lizalde collecting his Lorca Prize at the Lorca Centre? Why not? That would be logical. Says Laura García-Lorca, the Poet’s niece.

Thanks to G. Cappa Granada Hoy 12.10.2013





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LORCA PRIZE FOR POETRY 2012

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Tue, November 06, 2012 14:26:56

This year, 2012, Pablo García Baena became the ninth winner of the Lorca International Prize for Poetry, awarded annually by the City of Granada.

García Baena was born in Cordoba in 1923, so won the prize at the age of 89. He already has in his possession the Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Literature (1984), the Andalusian Prize for Letters (1992) and the Reina Sofía (2008).
The award came as a surprise, he said, just when he thought he had been overlooked once and for all and that the time had come for him to hang up his poetic gloves. His reaction is understandable, for the average age of the nine Lorca Prize winners is a mere 80. He is indeed the oldest of them all, although, apart from José Emilio Pacheco, the second recipient of the award in 2005, who won the prize at the sprightly age of 66, all winners have been well beyond the age of retirement for us normal mortals. García Baena had been in the running on several previous occasions.

All that was left for him now was the Cervantes Prize, he surmised, ruefully, but without false modesty.

Once again we have to agree with García Baena’s appraisal of the situation. The Lorca and the Sofía Prize go hand-in-hand. If a Lorca Prize winner is not already a Reina Sofía Prize holder, s/he soon will be. Seven of the nine Lorca Prize winners are also Reina Sofía Prize holders. Three won the Lorca Prize first, three the Reina Sofía, and last year, in 2011, Fina García Marruz of Cuba, at the tender age of eighty-eight, won both. And with the Príncipe de Asturias on his mantlepiece for nigh on twenty years, what else is there for the Andalusian poet to aspire to?

Even so, the Cervantes is is somewhat ambitious goal. Awarded for literature rather than (just) poetry, so far it has only been claimed by one Lorca Prize winner, José Emilio Pacheco, second winner in 2005, who went on to win both the Cervantes and the Reina Sofia in 2009.

With hindsight, García Baena had the clear profile of a Lorca Prize winner, characterised as one who, as well as being a seasoned poetry prize winner, is more likely to be in his 80s than in his 70s. And, yes, with poetesses winning the two previous editions (though only three of the nine have been women), it was probably a man’s turn in 2012. And a Spaniard’s. The prize tends to alternate between Spain and Latin America. He was, incidentally, the third Andalusian poet to win the prize, all of them in the last four years. Coincidence or policy decision?

Although prize money has been reduced from 50,000 to 30,000 euros in these times of crisis, it is still evidently an award of great value and prestige, and the prize givers are not inclined to take any risks.

That is why next year’s winner is likely to be a Latin American. It’s their turn. Latin American prize-winners are likely to be holders of the Pablo Neruda Prize, or the Octavio Paz Prize, or both (Pacheco). Or the Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature. As previous Latino winners have been from just three countries – Mexico, Peru, and Cuba - Argentina or Chile must be in with a good chance next year, and a poet of the calibre of Juan Gelman must fancy his chances, especially as at 83 next year he is also the right age. He won the Juan Rulfo in 2000, the Reina Sofía and the Pablo Neruda in 2005, and the Cervantes in 2007! He’s obviously been on the Lorca Prize shortlist on a number of occasions already.

With an eye on the Reina Sofía, this year’s winner Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua must be another hot contender for the Lorca. I confess I did think he was too radical and might be disqualified for his association with the Sandanista Government. He was Minister of Culture between 1979 and 1988. However, time is a great leveller and winning the Reina Sofía shows he has become respectable enough to stand a chance with the City of Granada jury, presided over by the Lord Mayor, currently the conservative José Torres Hurtado.

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LORCA POETRY PRIZE WINNERS

The Lorca PrizePosted by Simon Thu, October 21, 2010 00:17:25

THE INTERNATIONAL CITY OF GRANADA GARCIA LORCA POETRY PRIZE

Thinking of the struggle it took Lorca to establish himself as a poet and win economic independence to pursue his chosen vocation, the idea of a Poetry Prize named after him seems like a very good and well thought out idea. Lorca came close at times to giving up and knuckling under, tempted to apply for a proper job to please his exasperated father, who saw no future in his son’s literary inclinations and lack of professional ambition. A little formal recognition at the beginning of his literary career in the form of a cash award would have helped him on his way and relieved him of some years’ anxiety. The City of Granada International Poetry Prize, however, is not that kind of award. Worth 50,000 Euros, it is the highest sum handed out in any Spanish language poetry contest. The award’s main aim is to bestow prestige on the city of Granada and it is only awarded to well established poets who already have a long list of published and recognised works to their name.

And the winners were ...

The first winner in 2004 was Ángel González. González was born in 1925, so he was 79 when he won the prize. Spanish by birth, he had worked in academia and built a reputation that extended beyond the national borders. He had taught at the University of New Mexico from 1974 to 1994. His work is represented in the major anthologies of Spanish poetry of the 20th century, and was also included in the Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry published by Random House in 1996. He was also already the recipient of the highly prestigious Principe de Asturias (1985) and Reina Sofia Iberoamerican Poetry Prizes (1996).

José Emilio Pacheco was the second recipient of the award (2005) at the sprightly age of 66 (born 1939). Mexican, he was also extensively involved in English-speaking academia. Prior to the Lorca Prize, he had won the Octavio Paz Prize in 2003 and the Pablo Neruda Prize in 2004, and he went on to win both the Cervantes and the Reina Sofia Iberoamerican Prizes in 2009.

The third winner was also South American but this time it was the turn of a lady poet: Blanca Leonor Varela Gonzáles from Peru. Born in 1926, she was 80 when awarded the prize in 2006. Married to a sculptor she lived in Paris, Florence, and Washington DC in the 1950s, returning to Lima in 1962. She, like Pacheco, had also won the Octavio Paz Prize, before winning the City of Granada award. In the following year, 2007, she went on to win the Reina Sofia Prize.

The 2007 Award went to a Spanish male poet, Francisco Brines,

born in 1932, so aged 75 at the time of picking up his prize. Reckoned to the Generation of 1950, he was also an academic with a reputation in the English-speaking world, having been Professor of Spanish at Oxford University. He was named member of the Real Academia Española in 2001. He was awarded the Reina Sofia this year (2010).

Winner Number 5 at the age of 81 was Tomas Segovia, a poet born in Valencia, Spain, but then exiled in Mexico, where he taught at the Colegio de Mexico and other universities, hence also heavily involved in academia. He was a renowned translator and literary critic as well as poet. Before winning the Lorca Prize in 2008, he had won the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize (awarded to Latin american writers who have published in Mexico) in 1972, and then the Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature in 2005.

The next winner was Spanish and male and born in 1926, so 83 years old in 2009. Jose Manueal Caballero Bonald is an Andalusian poet, born in Jerez, also associated with the Generation of 1950. He taught Spanish Literature and Humanities at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, and later spent time in revolutionary Cuba. Involved as much in publishing as in academia - an activity which landed him for a while in a Franco gaol - in 1971 he bagan working for the Lexicography Seminar of the Real Academia Española. He won the Reina Sofia in 2004.

Finally, this year, 2010, we have another poetess, a Spaniard, an Andalusian from Malaga, María Victoria Atencia, aged 79, the ‘Emily Dickinson’ of Spanish poetry! Also associated with the Generation of 1950, also to some extent defined through her husband - Rafael León – she has a solid academic curriculum: member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Telmo in Malaga; of the Reales Academias de Cádiz, Córdoba, Sevilla y San Fernando; councellor of the Junta de Andalucía’s Centro Andaluz de las Letras; member of the "Fundación de la Generación del 27" in Madrid; of the "Centro Cultural Generación del 27" in Malaga; of the "Fundación María Zambrano"( Vélez-Málaga ), and "Honorary Associate of The Hispanic Society of America" of New York. She was awarded the Premio Nacional de la Crítica, 1997, the Premio Andalucía de la Crítica, 1998, and the Premio Luis de Góngora de la Letras Andaluzas in 2000.

Next year.

So what is the profile of next year’s winner? In 2011 the Prize will be awarded for the eighth time. It’s clearly Latin America’s turn; only Mexico and Peru have figured amongst the previous winners. It might be a woman again, as only two of the seven hitherto winners have been. She or he is unlikely to be younger than 66 and more likely nearer to 80, and will probably be associated in some way to the Generation of 1950. They will have been awarded prizes in their own country, are likely to have a fair amount of academic experience and literary reputation abroad, probably in English-speaking countries. And if they haven’t been awarded the Reina Sofia, they soon will be!

On this basis, Juan Gelman must be one of the strongest contenders for next year’s prize. One of the most read and influential poets in Spanish, translated into fourteen languages, he’s Argentinean, was born in 1930, and he won the Reina Sofia in 2005. In addition to that, he won the Juan Rulfo in 2000, the Pablo Neruda in 2005, and the Cervantes in 2007.

Gelman will have two close competitors from Chile. One is likely to be Nicanor Parra Sandoval – if he lives long enough. He won the Reina Sofia back in 2001 and was short-listed for the Principe de Asturias this year. He’s also been short-listed for the Nobel Prize on a couple of occasions. He’s now 96 (born in 1914). Winner of the Juan Rulfo in 1991, named Doctor Honoris Causa of Brown’s University in the same year and Honorary Fellow of Oxford University’s St Catherine's College in 2000, he is considered to have been a major influence on Hispano-American literature.

The other Chilean contender is Gonzalo Rojas Pizarro, considered by many the country’s leading living poet. Winner of the Reina Sofia even further back, in 1992, the year in which he was also awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura, and of the Cervantes in 2003, he is just three years younger than Parra Sandoval. Hard to say which of the two is the more likely candidate.

I personally would like to see Ernesto Cardenal get it, the Nicaraguan priest and poet who was Minister of Culture under the Sandinista Government between 1979 and 1988. In 2005 he was in the running for the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he may have failed to get for being too political. He’s certainly had a lot of influence beyond the Spanish-speaking world, though he’s won no important prizes. He was born in 1925 so he’s about the right age. I wouldn’t bank my life’s savings on him, though.

If it’s going to be a woman, Carilda Oliver Labra must be in with an outside chance. She’s the right sex and the right age (born in 1924; that’ll make her 87 next year). She’s Cuban and has won a number of prizes for her work, the first in 1950. In 2002, she won the International José Vasconcelos Prize, awarded in Mexico for promoting Spanish language culture and letters. Previously, she won the Certamen Hispanoamericano, organised by the Ateneo Americano in Washington, in commemoration of the third anniversary of the birth of the religious poetess Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

If there weren’t already two such strong contenders, another outside candidate from Chile must be Miguel Arteche. Born in 1926, 85 next year, he was an academic and worked in the diplomatic corp until exiled during the Pinochet dictatorship. He was made a member of the Academia Chilena de la Lengua in 1963 and in 1996 he was awarded the National Prize for Literature. He does not have such a strong CV as his senior poets, Pizarro and Sandoval.

Lat but not least, if the wanted to be adventurous,which they won't, they could choose Giannina Braschi, the 'nuyoricana' poet [o sea, una mixture de New Yorker y puertoriquena] who writes in Spanish, English and Spanglish. She was born in Puerto Rico in 1953, so at 58 would be a sensationally young, unestablished and inexperienced candidate for such a high and lofty distinguishment.


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