Nicanor Parra Wins the 2012 Pablo Neruda Poetry Award
SANTIAGO — For second time a Chilean has won the Pablo Neruda Iberoamerican Poetry Award. Minister of Culture Luciano Cruz-Coke announced that Nicanor Parra was chosen by an international jury as the 2012 winner of this important award. The winner last year was Oscar Hahn.
The jury was formed by the Minister of Culture and writers Claudio Bertoni and Pedro Gandolfo, the Cuban Virgilio López, Niall Binns from England, and the Argentinean Valeria Zurano.
During the ceremony in which Parra was named the winner, it was announced, “The jury came to its verdict because of his great trajectory, his contribution to Latin American poetry, his humor, irony, criticisms, and his quest to be an anti-poet.”
The poet received the news at his house in Las Cruces. Parra answered, “This is not the first time I’ve received a prize that I don’t deserve, and I expect this is not the last.”
The Cultural Council will give Parra a cash prize of more than US$60,000 as well as a diploma and a medal. Last year, the CNCA doubled their national prize. The news spread immediately around the world and a seminar dedicated to the anti-poet is now in being presented in Stockholm, Sweden.
Parra is now seen as an important icon in the world of literature. The first person to win this prize was the Mexican José Emilio Pacheco in 2004, who also won the Cervantes and Reina Sofía awards. The same happened with the Argentine Juan Gelman, who was recognized in Chile in 2005 and won the Cervantes two years later.
Nicanor Parra Sandoval was born in San Fabían de Alico, Bío Bío Region in 1914. He is a poet, storyteller, and essay writer. He started writing poetry when he was very young, publishing his first book in 1937 entitled “Cancionero son nombre”.
Over the years he started experimenting with a literature form that he later named anti-poetry. The most amazing example of this genre is seen in “Poema y antipoema” (1954). Also, he is a member of the Academia Chilena de la Lengua and the Gabriela Mistral Foundation.
• Cervantes de Literatura, Madrid 2012.
• Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana in 2001.
• Bicentenario by the Corporación Cultural de Chile and Universidad de Chile in 2001.
• Luis Oyarzún of Universidad Austral de Chile in 1997.
• Literatura Latinoamericana and the Caribe Juan Rulfo 1991.
• Prometeo de Poesía in 1991.
• Richard Wilbur 1985 of the Asociación Estadounidense de Traductores (ALTA).
• Nacional de Literatura de Chile in 1969 for “Obra gruesa”.
• Municipal de Santiago de Chile 1955 for “Poemas y antipoemas”.
• Sindicato de Escritores de Chile 1954 for “Poemas y antipoemas”.
• Poesía Juan Said 1953 of the Sociedad de Escritores de Chile.
• Municipal de Literatura de Santiago de Chile in 1938 for “Cancionero sin nombre”.