GRANADA, SPAIN -- Mexican poet Eduardo Lizalde received the Federico Garcia Lorca Prize here Thursday in a ceremony presided over by Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia.
During the ceremony at this southern city's Manuel de Falla Auditorium, the prince compared Lizalde's cultural and linguistic background to Lorca's and praised his "profound musical knowledge, which is crucial in lending a rhythm, a cadence and a sonic beauty that corresponds exclusively to the great figures of poetry."
Lizalde's body of work, the prince said, shows a "breadth of registers" and a blurring of the "distinction between the classical and colloquial."
In his acceptance speech, the 84-year-old Lizalde read a selection from his "Otros tigres" (Other Tigers) poetry collection and also paid tribute to Lorca (1898-1936), describing the late Spanish poet and dramatist as "the angel of an entire generation."
"Lorca was a magician. Everything he touched became art and spectacle. Lorca was unique among equals," Lizalde said after receiving the prize, which he described as an award that honors "minor poets" like him.
"Because of the diaspora of (Spanish) teachers, philosophers and poets who lived in our country, we were friends of Lorca's contemporaries such as (Luis) Cernuda and others who died in Mexico," Lizalde recalled.
More than 40 poets from 16 countries were in the running for this year's award, which was once accompanied by a 50,000-euro ($67,600) cash prize, making it the most lucrative distinction of its kind.
That cash award, however, was lowered last year to 30,000 euros ($40,500).