MADRID – Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale was on Thursday awarded the coveted Cervantes Prize for her use of language.
The accolade, considered the Nobel Prize in Literature in the Spanish language, is awarded by Spain’s Ministry of Culture and Sports, and carries 120,000 euros in prize money ($141,200).
Spain’s minister of culture, Jose Guirao, announced the winner, pointing out Vidale was being recognized for her “language, one of the most prominent and recognized in modern Spanish poetry, which is at the same time intellectual and popular, universal and personal, transparent and deep.”
President of the jury, writer Carmen Riera, said Vidale was an “extraordinary poet with great links to Spain.”
It was the fifth time the award, which has a 40-year history, was given to a woman.
Spaniards Maria Zambrano and Ana Maria Matute were awarded in 1988 and 2010, respectively, while Cuban writer Dulce Maria Loynaz got it in 1992 and Mexico’s Elena Poniatowska in 2013.