The winner of the XVI International Poetry Prize City of Granada – Federico Garcia Lorca is Julia Uceda (Sevilla, 1925).
At the age of 94 she is the oldest winner ever and this bucks the trend of the last two years when the prize went to Dario Jaramillo and Pere Gimferrer, who, at 71 and 72 respectively, were in fact younger than me (2/6/45). This state of affairs will undoubtedly become more and more frequent in the coming years. The 16 winners in the meantime clock up a total of 1300 years between them, which makes the average age of the prize-winners 81.25.
Uceda is only the fifth woman among the 16, four of them coming in the last ten years. And she is the eighth Spaniard, if we count Tomás Segovia as a Mexican, so the prize alternates fairly fairly between Spanish and Hispano-American poets. The same principle has not – at least until recently – been so rigorously applied to men and women poets.
In 1965, at the age of 40, Uceda abandoned Franco’s Spain to occupy the Chair of Spanish literature at Michigan State University until 1973. Although born in Andalusia, she has lived in Ferrol, in Galicia, since 1976 (the year after Franco died). But if we count her as an Andaluza, then she would be the fifth Andalusian poet to win the prize, all of them since 2009, a clear trend. She published poetry collections from 1959 to 2013, but, apart from the National Prize for Poetry (2003), she has not got a large number of prizes in her display cabinet, and this might also be a trend (see my last entry from April this year (#107).
Previous to that, I did say I had come to find the whole issue of the Lorca Poetry Prize a bit boring, implying that neither the selection process, nor the poets themselves, were very exciting. That’s in comparison to Lorca himself, of course.
In the following post, find my translation of one of her poems, published in Granada Hoy, 12 December 2019.