Today is the turn of the Princess of Asturias Award for Letters 2024which has fallen to the Romanian poet and politician Ana Blandiana. His poems, published in the magazines Viata Studenteasca and Amfiteatru, have become an icon of the fight against the communist dictatorship despite the fact that he was initially prohibited from studying at the university following the publication of his first text. The essayist also became known at the age of 24 with the publication of Călcâiul vulnerabil (1966) (The Vulnerable Heel) and, three years later, he increased his popularity with A treia taină (1969) (The Third Sacrament). Beyond poetry, she embarked on fight against the elimination of the communist legacy and the creation of an open society through a political campaign.

Thus, the poet “reflects a deep knowledge of the Romanian spirit during a historical period of oppressionand establishes defeat and hope as the guidelines of her literary project”, collects the Princess of Asturias Association. Blandiana compiles a list of awards that recognize her career as a poet: the Poetry Prize of the Romanian Writers’ Union (1969) , the Romanian Academy Poetry Prize, the Gottfried von Herder International Prize from the University of Vienna (1982), the National Poetry Prize (1997), the Opera Omnia Prize (2001), the Vilenica International Prize (2002) and the European Poet Prize for Freedom in 2016, as well as the French Legion of Honor.

For critics, Blandiana “symbolizes the conscience and testimony of her time, the emblematic opposition to the regime and the fight against censorship, and her voice proposes a reflection on artistic creation and the human condition, on innocence, the fall , death and survival, about love and responsibility in the face of the terror of history and the need to leave testimony of what we have experienced.”

This is the fifth award that is distributed within this year’s gala. The previous one was for the Canadian professor, essayist, professor and former politician Michael Ignatieffwho took home the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences materialized in a sculpture by Joan Miróa diploma, a badge and a cash prize of 50,000 euros. This same ‘pack’ was taken Joan Manuel Serrat, Marjane Satrapi and Carolina Marin, with the Arts, Humanities and Sports awards. In this order. But the sculpture is not received at the Oviedo ceremony, as it weighs around eight kilos. The organization sends it to the winners’ homes after the event.

Who has won this award in recent years

This awards category is intended “for the cultivation and improvement work of literary creation in all its genres.” Over the years, the prize has gone to poets, writers, and researchers. Last year the Japanese writer was awarded Haruki Murakami, known for his international success with his work “Tokio blues” (1987), titled “Norwegian Wood” in its original version and which was translated into more than forty languages. A year earlier, the winner was the playwright Juan Mayorgaauthor of works such as ‘Seven Good Men’ or ‘More Ashes’ and the author of the adaptations of ‘The Silly Lady’, ‘Divine Words’, ‘An Enemy of the People’, ‘King Lear’ and ‘Life is a Dream’. The first to receive this recognition was the poet, scholar of poets, writer and art critic, José Hierro del Real, in 1981.

The Princess of Letters Award

  • 2023: Haruki Murakami
  • 2022: Juan Mayorga
  • 2021: Emmanuel Carrère
  • 2020: Anne Carson
  • 2019: Siri Hustvedt
  • 2018:Fred Vargas
  • 2017: Adam Zagajewski
  • 2016:Richard Ford
  • 2015: Leonardo Padura
  • 2014:John Banville
  • 2013: Antonio Muñoz Molina
  • 2012: Philip Roth
  • 2011:Leonard Cohen
  • 2010: Amin Maalouf
  • 2009: Ismaíl Kadaré
  • 2008:Margaret Atwood
  • 2007: Amos Oz
  • 2006: Paul Auster
  • 2005: Nélida Piñon
  • 2004: Claudio Magris
  • 2003: Fatema Mernissi and Susan Sontag
  • 2002:Arthur Miller
  • 2001: Doris Lessing
  • 2000: Augusto Monterroso
  • 1999: Günter Grass
  • 1998: Francisco Ayala
  • 1997: Álvaro Mutis
  • nineteen ninety six: Francisco Umbral
  • nineteen ninety five: Carlos Bousoño
  • 1994: Carlos Fuentes
  • 1993: Claudio Rodríguez
  • 1992: Francisco Morales Nieva
  • 1991: People of Puerto Rico
  • 1990: Arturo Oslar Pietri
  • 1989: Ricardo Gullón
  • 1988: Carmen Martín Gaite and José Ángel Valiente
  • 1987: Camilo José Cela
  • 1986: Mario Vargas Llosa and Rafael Lapela
  • 1985: Ángel González
  • 1984: Pablo García Baena
  • 1983: Juan Rulfo
  • 1982: Miguel Delibes and Gonzalo Torrente Ballester
  • 1981: José Hierro