Cuba's Fina García Marruz accepted the 20th Queen Sofia Ibero-American Poetry Prize on Monday as an "implicit tribute" to the Spanish language.

The 88-year-old poet conveyed her thoughts to those attending the award ceremony, presided over by Queen Sofia at the University of Salamanca, in a video filmed at her home, since her advanced age kept her from traveling to Spain.

Surrounded by books, García Marruz said she felt "deeply moved" at receiving a prize that honors the literary careers of great poets.

During her brief speech she recalled in a clear voice how her work and her life were influenced by meeting some remarkable 20th-century poets in her country, notably Juan Ramón Jiménez and Rafael Alberti.

"Our life and work would not have been the same had we never met them," the writer told the dozens of people crowding the hall in Salamanca.

Her grandson, José Adrián Vitier, accepted the prize in the name of García Murruz, saying that this was "a prize for poetry, and for hope."

Though the award is usually presented at the Royal Palace in Madrid, on this occasion the ceremony was held in Salamanca on the 20th anniversary of its creation.

The honor also includes a cash award of 42,100 euros ($56,865), a diploma, the edition of an anthology of the author's works, a poetry evening and several days of study with the participation, whenever possible, of the prizewinner.

Follow us on
Like us at