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Guadalajara, Jalisco, September 02, 2019

David Huerta's Fraternal Intelligence Wins the FIL Award

According to the jury, Huerta's work is at “the center of critical considerations regarding current Hispanic American lyrical poetry.” They also recognized the Mexican writer as “an exemplary anomaly who challenges all poetic discourse.”


Due to the “impetus, ambition and fraternal intelligence” of his poetic trajectory, which “places his work at the center of critical considerations regarding current Hispanic American lyrical poetry,” an international judging panel—including Miguel Casado, Luz Elena Gutiérrez de Velasco, Aurelio Major, Anna Caballé Masforroll, Amelia Gamoneda and Anne-Marie Métailié—decided to award the 2019 FIL Award for Literature in Romance Languages to David Huerta. The Mexican writer will receive the prize on November 30 at the inauguration of the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

            When the jury announced their decision today, they had this to say of Huerta: “His mastery and assimilation of a wide variety of modern traditions, as well as the avant-garde in Latin American literature and literature in other languages (namely, in France and the US)—not to mention his more recent reinterpretations of medieval, renaissance and baroque poetry from Spain—combined with his incursions into translation, make him an exemplary anomaly who challenges all poetic discourse.”

            David Huerta was born in Mexico City in 1949. He is a poet, essayist and translator. He studied philosophy and English and Spanish literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He has taught classes at the Octavio Paz Foundation and the Mexican Literary Foundation. He has been editor at La Gaceta for Fondo de Cultura Económica, a member of the editorial board at Letras Libres and director at Periódico de Poesía. He writes for Diorama de la Cultura, El Universal, Nexos and Proceso. He is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores in Mexico. He received the Carlos Pellicer Poetry Prize in 1990 for Historia and the Xavier Villaurrutia Award in 2005 for Versión. He received the Mexican National Prize for Arts and Sciences in 2015, and in 2018 the Yucatán International Book Fair gave him the José Emilio Pacheco Award for Excellence in Literature

             In the official document detailing the verdict, made public today in Guadalajara, the judging panel describes Huerta as follows: “His skill and inexorable civic vocation have helped him prevail as a model for future literary generations, in particular since the publishing of Incurable in 1987, which almost immediately became a much-needed point of inflection and a source from which a diversity of outpourings have flowed. Never satisfied with his discoveries, he has continued to explore other languages and other unique forms in his subsequent poetry collections, such as El ovillo y la brisa—all serving to confirm the jury’s criteria and verdict.”

             With an endowment of US$150,000, the FIL Award recognizes a life dedicated to literature. This year the FIL received 107 proposals from 14 countries, representing 76 writers and six languages: Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Galician. The nominations were registered by cultural and educational institutions, literary associations, publishing houses and members of the jury. Other writers who have received the award include Fernando del Paso, António Lobo Antunes, Margo Glantz, Yves Bonnefoy, Claudio Magris, Norman Manea and Ida Vitale, among other great authors of contemporary literature.


2019 Judging Panel


Luz Elena Gutiérrez de Velasco Romo (1949). Doctor of Hispanic Literature from El Colegio de México and Master of Literature from the University of Guadalajara. She studied German and Romance studies at the University of Würzburg. Researcher at the Linguistics and Literary Studies Center (El Colegio de México) where she was the director (2009-2015). She coordinated the Women’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program (1996-2002) at El Colegio de México and ran the Languages Center at ITAM. She is a member of the CIG-Proyecto Entre Espacios (Germany/Mexico). Coeditor and coauthor of: Femenino/masculino en las literaturas de América. Escrituras en contraste (Aldus, 2005), Los grandes problemas de México. Relaciones de Género (El Colegio de México, 2010) and Of Fatherlands and Motherlands. Gender and Nation in the Americas (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier-Bilingual Press, 2015). Member of the Diana Morán Literary Theory and Critique Workshop belonging to U.C. Mexicanistas at the Mexican Science Academy (ACM) and the National System of Researchers (SNI).

Miguel Casado (1954). Spanish poet, critic, and translator. His poetry work includes Invernales (1985), La condición de pasajero (1986), Inventario (Premio Hiperión 1987), Falso movimiento (1993), La mujer automática (1996), Tienda de fieltro (2004) and El sentimiento de la vista (2015). He has focused his critical attention on contemporary Spanish poetry and general poetry topics in books such as Del caminar sobre hielo (2001), La poesía como pensamiento (2003), La experiencia de lo extranjero (2009), La palabra sabe (2012) and Literalmente y en todos los sentidos (2015). In addition to his essays, he is editing the complete poetry work by Fernando Pessoa (Abada Ed.). Among other poets, he has translated Arthur Rimbaud, Francis Ponge, and Bernard Noël.

Anne-Marie Métailié (1944). Editor. She has Portuguese and Spanish studies and graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris. She manages her own publishing house founded in 1979, which has a catalogue of approximately one thousand two hundred titles in Human Science and Foreign Literature with Portuguese, Italian, Scottish, Mongol, Islandic, and Latin American authors such as Santiago Gamboa, Jorge Franco, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Lidia Jorge, Rosa Montero, Luis Sepúlveda, Pablo de Santis, Elsa Osorio, José Maria Arguedas, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II. In 2014, Métailié won the Publishing Merit Award granted by the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

Amelia Gamoneda Lanza (1961). Essayist, literary critic, translator, and professor at the University of Salamanca. She is the author of the literary studies Marguerite Duras. La textura del deseo, Merodeos. Narrativa francesa actual, and Del animal poema. Olvido García Valdés y la poética de lo vivo. She has edited volumes and monographs about the epistemology of literature: Espectro de la analogía, Inscriptions littéraires de la science, Idea súbita. Ensayos sobre epifanía creativa, En torno a la lectura: signo, fenómeno, cognición, Metáfora y ciencia, Literatura y ciencia, and La epistemocrítica en España. As a translator, she has taken on the works of Cioran, Mallarmé and Duras. She has contributed to critically acclaimed magazines such as Revista de Libros and Revista de Occidente. She manages the USAL Research Group Inscripciones Literarias de la Ciencia (ILICIA) and its Research Projects.

Anna Caballé (1954). Writer, academic, and literary critic. Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Barcelona where she founded and runs the Biographic Studies Unit (UEB). She was previously the editor of the magazine Memoria. Revista de Estudios Biográficos. Some of her publications have included the diaries of Francisco Candel, El gran dolor del mundo (1944-1975) and the book ¿Por qué España? in collaboration with Randolph Pope. Her work includes Francisco Umbral. El frío de una vida, Cinco conversaciones con Carlos Castilla del Pino, Breve historia de la misoginia, El bolso de Ana Karenina and El feminismo en España. La larga conquista de un derecho.   Her most recent book is the biography of Concepción Arenal, La caminante y su sombra. She won the Extraordinary Dotorate Award for her thesis La literatura autobiográfica en España (1939-1975) published under the title Narcisos de tinta; the 2009 Gaziel Award for Biographies and Memoirs awarded by the Conde de Godó Foundation for her biography Carmen Laforet. Una mujer en fuga, and the 2015 Manuel Alvar Humanistic Studies for her essay Pasé la mañana escribiendo. Poéticas del diarismo español. She is acting president of the Biography Society, vice president of the Tom Sharpe Foundation, and president of Clásicas y Modernas.

Aurelio Major (1963). Poet, translator, and editor. Major was editor-in-chief of the Vuelta publishing house, presided by Octavio Paz; and of its Mexican affiliate Tusquets Editores. He has been an editor and translator for poets Basil Bunting and George Oppen, among others, as well as the work of Susan Sontag. He prefaced and compiled a large anthology of Edmund Wilson’s critical work, another of Eliot Weinberger’s essays, and in 2013 in the United States, a selection of contemporary Spanish literature. Fifteen years ago, in Barcelona alongside Valerie Miles, he founded the Spanish edition of the Granta magazine. In 2014, he was the coordinator of the commemorations in Spain for the Centenary of Octavio Paz’s birth for which he published the Paz’s unpublished work De una palabra a la otra. In 2017, he published his edition of Viaje a la revolución by Bertrand Russell and Poesía reunida by Ida Vitale. His next poetry collection in Libros de la Resistencia in Spain is titled Pródromo.


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