The award includes the presentation of a diploma and the commemorative artwork, which will once again be crafted in our workshop, Espacio de Arte Hnos Moreno.

The 91-year-old Uruguayan poet Circe Maia has received the XX Federico García Lorca Poetry Award. Her candidacy was proposed by the Lorca Prize jury itself, whose spokesperson, Carlos Pardo, indicated that awarding Maia this year “maximizes” the potential of this prize as it recognizes a life dedicated to poetry by someone whose career is not “excessively” known to the public.

The award includes the presentation of a diploma and the commemorative artwork of the poetry awards, as well as a financial endowment of 20,000 euros each year.

The jury’s statement noted that the writer “has remained independent of dominant poetic trends,” being the author “of a personal and influential body of work in Spanish,” having “turned poetry into a method of understanding reality, based on daily experience with transparent and precise language.”

Uruguayan Circe Maia was chosen from among the 35 candidacies submitted for this award, which recognizes the overall poetic work of a living author and seeks to restore its prestige with a sum of 20,000 euros.

Carlos Pardo explained that her work falls within a poetry that can be termed “of things,” with “very important” books for the history of poetry written in Spanish over the last half-century.

“She is one of the most influential poets of recent years,” with a “philosophical” poetry expressed in a “very simple” manner, making “things emerge as the poem is being written.”

Maia writes in an “objective, thus very visual” way and maintains at her age “a great capacity for experimentation and openness.”

In the 1980s, Un viaje a Salto was a novelistic experiment, reissued a few years ago by an independent publisher like Las Afueras, which, like many others in Spain, “has the ability to be the radar for the literature with the most potential being written right now,” Pardo indicated.

From very early books, such as Presencia diaria, she already puts on the table “that play with the everyday,” with which she “almost turns poetry into a method of understanding the everyday, the real,” to later works where she experiments with genres or opens up to prose, as in Destrucciones, “another of the most influential books of poetry written in Spanish.”

In Spain, the jury’s spokesperson detailed, there are anthologies of her work in the publishers Pretextos and Visor. He concluded by reading a poem from her 2001 book Breve sol, titled Invitación.

The mayor of Granada, in her capacity as president of the jury, highlighted that the Lorca candidates were a selection of “the best names of men and women who form the constellation of indisputable poets of current Hispanic literature.”

“We are proud to associate her name” with that of Granada through the poetry “of her entire body of work,” said Mari Fran Carazo. The City Council plans to organize the ceremony for the Lorca Prize’s twentieth edition next spring in coordination with the writer. Endowed with 20,000 euros, a total of 35 candidacies were submitted, of which nine were women.

All this is to recognize “the entire poetic work of a living author who, due to their literary value, constitutes a significant contribution to the cultural heritage of Hispanic literature.”

FAVORITES

The unwritten rule of alternately awarding poets from both sides of the Atlantic was not followed this time. Thus, after awarding Zurita in 2022, it was expected that a Spanish poet would be recognized this year. The candidacy with the most proposals in 2023 was that of Argentine Alfonso Nassif (with six proposals), followed by Granada’s Antonio Carvajal, who won the National Poetry Prize in 2012 with Un girasol flotante and was nominated by five institutions. Argentina, with the mentioned poet, along with Diana Bellesi, Jorge Boccanera, Miguel Oscar Menassa, and María Negroni, became the second country with the most candidates; followed by Colombia, with Amparo Osorio, Guiovanni Quessesp Esguerra, and Piedad Bonnet Vélez; and Mexico, with Francisco Azuela, Karlo Segurama, and Homero Aridjis.

HISTORY OF THE AWARDEES

Over the past 20 years, the awardees, in chronological order, include Ángel González, José Emilio Pacheco, Blanca Varela, Francisco Brines, Tomás Segovia, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, María Victoria Atienza, Fina García Marruz, Pablo García Baena, Eduardo Lizalde, Rafael Guillén, Rafael Cadenas, Ida Vitale, Pere Gimferrer, Darío Jaramillo, Julia Uceda, Yolanda Patín, and Luis Alberto de Cuenca.

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