Spanish poet, novelist and essayist Luis Mateo Díez received the Cervantes Prize on Tuesday, Spanish Culture Minister Miquel Iceta announced. “The jury has just awarded Don Luis Mateo Díez the 2023 Miguel de Cervantes Prize for literature in the Spanish language,” announced the minister in Madrid, saluting a “creator of imaginary worlds and territories.”
Worth 125,000 euros, the Cervantes Prize is the most prestigious in Spanish-language literature. “It's wonderful to be rewarded,” Mr Díez said at a press conference in Madrid. “I am happy, delighted,” he added, presenting himself as the author of a “very prolific work, perhaps too prolific.” The prize will be awarded to him on April 23, the date of Miguel de Cervantes' death, at the University of Alcalá de Henares, the town near Madrid where the author of Don Quixote was born in 1547.
During the solemn ceremony, the winner receives the award from the hands of the King and Queen of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia, in the university auditorium. Since its creation in 1976, the prize has been awarded to authors such as Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Mario Vargas Llosa, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Álvaro Mutis, Carlos Fuentes, Nicanor Parra and, in 2022, to the poet Venezuelan Rafael Cadenas. Luis Mateo Díez, born 81 years ago in a village in León (northwest Spain), is a member of the Royal Academy of Language. In addition to his two collections of poetry, his narrative works and essays have received important awards.