Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has awarded the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Prize to Cuba’s Reina Maria Rodriguez.
“Reina Maria Rodriguez receives the Pablo Neruda Prize 10 years after its creation and is the youngest poet of all those who have passed through this house of Chilean presidents to accept this honor,” Bachelet said.
The award, established in honor of Chilean Nobel literature laureate and diplomat Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), is accompanied by $60,000 and the publication of an anthology of the winner’s poems.
The Cuban poetess, who has been in Chile since last Saturday, said upon accepting the prize that her poetry was honored for displaying in each verse “the miracle of life.”
She said the prize shows “that Cuban literature is a literature basically of poets and that literature is not territorial, it can be anywhere.”
Reina Maria Rodriguez is acknowledged for the profundity of her verse, linked to the Cuban poetic tradition. She is one of the leading prizewinners of current Cuban literature.
Her work began in 1976 with “La Gente de mi Barrio,” after which came “Una Casa en Animas” and “Para un Cordero Blanco,” with which she won the 1984 Casa de las Americas Prize, among almost a score of books published.
The Cuban poet has also been honored with the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1990, the Alejo Carpentier Medal in 2002 and the Italo Calvino Prize in 2004. She also won Cuba’s National Prize for Literature in 2013.