The Ministry of Culture announced the three winners of the 2023 National Literature Awards. The winners were Fadir Delgado, Luis Miguel Rivas and María Antonia León, who were recognized in the categories of Published Poetry Book, Published Short Story Book and Short Story Book Unpublished written by Women, respectively.
With the book ‘The Exact Temperature of Fear’ (Edasa), the writer Fadir Delgado Acosta won the National Prize for Published Poetry Book.
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“This award is the highest award given in poetry in Colombia. Having won it is for me the response to a careful writing work that I have been developing,” said the winner upon learning of the recognition.
The jury for this category was made up of the poets Diana Bellesi (Argentina), Juan Felipe Robledo (Colombia) and Rómulo Bustos (Colombia). In their minutes, the members highlighted that the Barranquilla writer presented a book with excellent workmanship.
“It maintains, without faltering, a meticulous unity around fear. To fears:
death, illness, etc.,” it says in the minutes. He also highlighted that “written
with the honesty and power of true poetry, intertwines in a way
original motherhood and illness, creating verbal atmospheres where the
Suffering and the dazzling of the origin become one.”
Delgado is the author of the poetry books “The Iron House” and “The Last Gesture of the Fish,” which was translated into French and published by the Encres publishing house. She works as director of literature workshops and coordinator of the Casa de Hierro Artistic Foundation, in Barranquilla. She also won the Poetry Prize at the Buenaventura University International Literature Contest (2014).
‘Published story book’
For his part, the writer Luis Miguel Rivas, National Prize for Short Story Book Published by “Nervous Juggler” (Seix Barral).
“This award for me is very important, I suppose for the same reasons that it would be for any other writer or artist: for the fact that his work has been chosen by a group of specialists. In that sense one feels happy for one , there is something individual of ego and satisfaction, of recognition for all the work time that one dedicates to writing. But, on the other hand, it is also a more abstract and more general happiness, for literature and because it is a recognition of the importance of the castles in the air that we artists build, a recognition of creativity and culture as a builder of society,” noted Rivas, upon learning of the jury’s decision.
The jury, made up of the writers Socorro Venegas (Mexico), Elkin
Restrepo (Colombia) and Mario Jursich (Colombia), highlighted that “if literature,
as the Czech structuralists wanted, it must produce an effect of strangeness
In the mind of the reader, Luis Miguel Rivas achieves it perfectly.”
For them, “their stories are never what they appear to be” and they emphasize that
They chose the winner for “that dazzling ability to see reality with
new, together with the mastery of a prose in which the speech shines
Antioqueña and the sense of humor.”
It is worth remembering that Rivas is a social communicator, teacher, audiovisual producer and
writer. He is the author, among others, of “My friends are living dying” (2007) and “Tasks
not made” (2014), and has received several recognitions in different national competitions. In 2011, in addition, he was selected by the International Book Fair of
Guadalajara as one of “The 25 best kept secrets in Latin America”.
‘Unpublished story book written by women’
Finally, María Antonia León won the National Award for Unpublished Short Story Book Written by Women with the unpublished work “The whales are more subtle.”
(You may be interested: Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Andrea won the 2023 Goncourt Prize)
“I feel moved and deeply grateful. Every now and then I think that it is a dream, but in reality, it is the materialization of many years of work in the literary field; the result of an exploration of narrative techniques and experimentation with structures and possibilities of language,” said the winner.
The jury, made up of Colombian writers Luis Noriega, Andrea Mejía
and Luz Mary Giraldo, highlighted “the display of her own perspective that unifies the stories and for her delicate and promising writing.”
León (Manizales, 1985) has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the National University of Colombia and a social communicator from the Santo Tomás University. She has published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. In addition, author of the book of poems “The apparatus that beats” (Domingo Atrasado, 2021) and the novel “The thermal oracle” (Seix Barral, 2023), with which she received the VI Biennial Roberto Burgos Cantor Short Novel Prize, from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Editorial Planeta.