Saturday, December 4

A work written in Basque wins the National Poetry Prize for the first time

Miren Agur Meabe is chosen by the jury of the 2021 National Poetry Prize for her work Nola gorde errautsa kolkoan (in Spanish, How to keep ash on your chest), published by Susa publishing house. It is the first time in the history of the prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture that has been awarded to a work written in Basque. The award carries an endowment of 20,000 euros.

The jury has defined the work as a “mature collection of poems” attributed to “one of the great contemporary Basque poets”. “What begins as a memoir is unfolding and accommodating a multitude of voices, styles and tones,” the jury, made up of Juan Gil Fernández (appointed by the Royal Spanish Academy), Katixa, has expressed in a press release. Aguirre Miguélez (for the Royal Academy of the Basque Language), María del Vinyet Panyella Balcells (for the Institute of Catalan Studies), Francisco Javier Díez de Revenga (for the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities), Eduardo Moga Bayona (for the Collegiate Association of Writers of Spain), Julia Barella Vigal (for the Spanish Association of Literary Critics), Luis Fermín Moreno Álvarez (for the Federation of Associations of Journalists of Spain), Esther Sánchez-Pardo González (for the Feminist Research Institute of the Complutense University of Madrid), Elena Medel Navarro (for the Ministry of Culture and Sports) and María Olga Novo Presa, who was the award-winning author in the 2020 call.

Miren Agur Meabe was born in Lekeitio (Bizkaia) in 1962. In addition to being a writer, she is a translator in Basque. He has dedicated himself to editorial direction and management within the Giltza-Edebé group. He has primarily written poetry and children’s literature, as well as adult narratives. His collection of poems Azalaren Kodea (in Spanish, The Skin Code) received the National Critics Award in 2000. His next book of poems Bitsa eskuetan (Foam in the hands), in 2010, won the Critics’ Prize for Poetry in Basque.

Since 2006 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language-Euskaltzaindia.