SANTIAGO – Peru’s Antonio Cisneros was announced on Tuesday as the winner of the 2010 Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Prize, which is conferred by the Chilean government in honor of the country’s late Nobel laureate.
The jury, chaired by Chilean Culture Minister Luciano Cruz-Coke, cited the “sustained poetic quality” of Cisneros’ work.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera will present the $30,000 prize to Cisneros in a ceremony set for July 12, the 106th anniversary of Neruda’s birth.
Cisneros is “a poet with notable influence over the younger generations” in Latin America, the prize jury said in a statement read by Peruvian poet Arturo Corcuera during the announcement at Neruda’s long-time Santiago residence, La Chascona.
“Caramba, what a marvel of God!,” Cisneros, 67, exclaimed when he received the telephone call from the Chilean Culture Ministry informing him that he was chosen for this year’s Neruda Prize.
Cisneros said he had two personal encounters with the Nobel laureate: the first at a birthday party for the Chilean on a boat cruising the River Thames; the second during a writers conference on Isla Negra, where Neruda (1904-1973) kept a vacation home and where he and wife Matilde Urrutia are buried. EFE