Asturias award honors Canadian poet and essayist Anne Carson

MADRID (AP) — Canadian essayist and poet Anne Carson, author of the 1986 non-fiction book “Eros the Bittersweet,” will be honored this year with one of Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Awards.

The jury of the literature award — one of the eight handed out annually by a foundation named after the heir to the Spanish throne, said Thursday that Carson “has reached a level of intensity and intellectual solvency that place her among the most outstanding writers of the present.”

With her strong background in classical studies and languages, Carson is known for combining poetry, translation, prose and even script-writing into her works. Based loosely on a Greek myth, the 1998 verse novel “Autobiography of Red” is one of her best-known books.

At 69, she has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature in recent years. She currently teaches at the University of Michigan.

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“Her work maintains a commitment to emotion and thought, with the study of tradition and the renewed presence of Humanities as a way to achieve better awareness of our time,” the jury wrote in its decision.

The annual Princess of Asturias awards, in categories ranging from arts to sports, are among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world. Recipients are awarded 50,000 euros ($56,000) at a lavish ceremony in October.

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