Guadalajara, Jalisco, September 03, 2018

Ida Vitale, Winner of the 2018 FIL Literary Award

The crystal clear voice of the Uruguayan writer “is able to bring new life to tradition and affirm her place in the modern world,” stated the judging panel in their decision, considering her “a poetic force in the world of Spanish-language poetry”


The international judging panel made up of Héctor Abad Faciolince, Luz Elena Gutiérrez de Velasco, Efraín Kristal, Valerie Miles, Carmen Muşat and Elena Stancanelli decided to grant her the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages for being a “poetic force in the world of Spanish-language poetry.” The Uruguayan writer will accept the award on November 24 during the opening ceremonies of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL Guadalajara). “Magnificent  and mindful of the human experience in her words and in what arises from these, her clear poetic voice, closely tied to the natural world, artistic expression, and the passing of time, is able to bring new life to tradition and affirm her place in the modern world,” stated the jury in their unanimous decision to grant her the award. 

             Born in Montevideo on November 2, 1923, Ida Vitale is a poet, journalist, translator and literary critic. Some of the numerous works of the author being granted the FIL Guadalajara’s most important award include The Light of this Memory, Procurement of the Impossible, Dictionary of Affinities, Constancy's Dreams and Each In His Own Night. “Her insatiable curiosity is expressed through cheerful irony, and a look that is at times direct, at times from a tangent, that revitalizes and reinvents things, making us look at them in a different way, with new eyes,” read the judging panel’s statement.

             Ida Vitale was part of the group of writers known as the Generation ‘45. She studied humanities and was a professor until 1974 when the military dictatorship forced her into exile in Mexico for ten years. She has collaborated with numerous newspapers and magazines, served on the advisory board for Vuelta, and was part of the group that founded Unomásuno. Some of the awards she has received include the Octavio Paz International Poetry and Essay Award, the International Alfonso Reyes Award, the Queen Sofia of Ibero-American Poetry Award, and the Federico García Lorca and Max Jacob Awards for poetry. She received an honorary PhD from the University of Uruguay.

            “Over the last seven decades Ida Vitale’s poetry has enriched the Spanish language. She has also enriched the language with her notable translations, for example her versions of Pirandello, Bachelard and Simone de Beauvoir, which form part of her overall contribution to literature,” continued the judging panel, adding that “throughout her own literary journey the meaning of the words has changed thanks to her insatiable ability to reveal the world to us through poetry.”

             Carrying a purse of $150,000 US dollars, the FIL Literature Award recognizes a lifetime dedicated to literature. This year 79 nominations were received from 17 countries representing 62 writers and six languages: Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian. The candidates, as outlined in the call for nominations sent out in April, were nominated by cultural institutions, literary associations, publishing houses and members of the judging panel. Past winners of the award include Fernando del Paso, António Lobo Antunes, Margo Glantz, Yves Bonnefoy, Claudio Magris and Norman Manea, among other great authors from contemporary literature.




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