MIAMI, United States. – The Nicaraguan poet and novelist Gioconda Belli, 74, was awarded the XXXII Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry, as announced Monday by Ana de la Cueva, president of the National Heritage of Spain, and Ricardo Rivero, rector of the University of Salamanca.
In accordance with a report from the EFE agencythe jury awarded the prize to Belli, who currently lives in exile in Madrid, “for her creative expressiveness, poetic freedom and courage, as well as her significance in contemporary Nicaraguan culture.”
Despite the variety and prestige of the 49 nominations submitted, the president of Spain’s National Heritage pointed out that the final decision, although it was not easy, recognized the weight of Belli’s work in the common cultural heritage of Latin America and Spain.
Ricardo Rivero, rector of the University of Salamanca, expressed his admiration for Belli, highlighting his ability to “vindicate values such as the dignity of the person, the fight against tyranny and maintaining a coherent position at all times.”
In addition to her renowned career as a poet, Santiago Muñoz Machado, director of the Royal Spanish Academy, emphasized Belli’s versatility as a writer in all literary genres. Likewise, Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute, valued the important contribution of the writer to contemporary literature in the last five decades.
Belli, born in Managua, Nicaragua, in 1948, has been immersed in the literary and political life of her country for much of her life. She joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front at a young age and held various positions in the Sandinista government, though she distanced herself from it in 1993.
Due to his opinions and political activism, the dictator Daniel Ortega Withdrew Belli’s Nicaraguan nationality in February of this year, along with 94 other opponents, including renowned writer Sergio Ramírez.
The Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry, awarded annually by the National Heritage of Spain and the University of Salamanca, is the most important in the field of poetry in Spanish and Portuguese. As part of the recognition, Belli will receive an economic endowment of 42,100 euros and an anthological collection of poems of her work will be published.
Gioconda Belli will receive the award from Queen Sofía in a ceremony that will take place next fall in the Hall of Columns of the Royal Palace in Madrid.