MADRID – Cuban poet Fina Garcia Marruz was announced Thursday as the recipient of the 20th Queen Sofia Ibero-American Poetry Prize, an award that also constitutes an act of homage to her colleagues in the Origenes group.
Garcia Marruz is one of the voices most representative of Cuban poetry.
“I’m speechless. I don’t know how to express my gratitude for this recognition, which is also a recognition of Origenes,” the poet told Efe by telephone from her home in Cuba.
The announcement coincided with the poet’s 88th birthday.
Garcia Marruz recalled her ties with Spain and in particular with Juan Ramon Jimenez and his wife, Zenobia Camprubi, whom she got to know in Havana in 1936. “I’m in their debt for marrying whom I married. I owe everything to Juan Ramon and Zenobia,” she said.
“The Origenes group would be the equivalent in influence and importance to the ‘Generacion del 27’ in Spain,” said Francisco Brines, the winner of the most recent past edition of the prize, a member of the panel of judges and one of the greatest defenders of Garcia Marruz’s candidacy.
The Queen Sofia Prize – one of the most important and prestigious awards in poetry which comes with 42,100 euros ($62,240) and is organized jointly by the Spanish National Heritage agency and the University of Salamanca – is, like the Cervantes Prize, by unwritten law awarded annually but on an alternating basis to a Spanish writer and then to one from Latin America.
Garcia Marruz was married to the poet Cintio Vitier (1921-2009), also a member of the Origenes group. Other members of the group accommodated themselves to Fidel Castro’s revolution, but some – including Gaston Baquero and Eliseo Diego – went into exile.
The award presentation will take place at the end of October or in December. EFE