LEON, Spain – The poet, journalist and official chronicler of the Spanish city of Leon, Victoriano Cremer, died Saturday of complications to a weakened condition due to old age. He was 102.
Cremer, Spain’s longest lived poet, was admitted several days earlier to a hospital in Leon, family members told Efe.
The poet and journalist, who wrote a column in the daily Diario de Leon called “Cremer Contra Cremer” (Cremer Against Cremer), in which his last article will be published this Sunday, won the 1963 National Prize for Poetry and the 1994 Castilla y Leon Prize for Literature.
Among his works are “Nuevos Cantos de Vida y Esperanza” (New Songs of Life and Hope), “Libro de Cain” (The Book of Cain), “Tiempo de Soledad” (Time of Solitude), and “El Ultimo Jinete” (The Last Horseman), which earned him the Jaime Gil de Biedma Poetry Prize in 2008.
With Gonzalez de Lama and Eugenio de Nora he founded in the difficult days following Spain’s 1936-1939 Civil War the magazine Espadaña (Bell Tower), which published the works of poets like Neruda, Vallejo and Blas de Otero.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who lived since childhood in Leon, expressed Saturday his “deep sorrow” at Cremer’s passing, an eminence in the nation’s literature whom the premier described as a “cultural activist” during “some very tough times in our history.”