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Miren Agur Meabe, First Author In Basque To Win The National Poetry Award

Look at Agur Meabe “he had the pan on the fire, in the routine of every day” when he received the call from the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, to announce that he had been awarded the 2021 National Poetry Prize , endowed with 20,000 euros. The award, which “honors” his book ‘Nola gorde errautsa kolkoan’ (‘How to keep ash on the chest’; published by the Susa publishing house), written for a decade, is “the justification of my life”, he declared to the Efe agency the Biscayan author.

“My knees were shaking and I had a feeling of enormous gratitude. The first thing I do is go to a table that I have in the hall and give a kiss to a photo of my ancestors, in black and white,” said Agur Meabe (Lekeitio , Vizcaya, 1962).

“I gave up work to dedicate myself to writing and all that effort is rewarded by the support of the readers, but this award has another dimension, it is a gift for me and for my closest people,” said the poet, for the that it is “a pride” to be the first “woman of Basque literature” to win the National Poetry Award (the Narrative Award they have already achieved with works in Basque by Bernardo Atxaga, Unai Elorriaga and Kirmen Uribe).

Maturity and multitude of voices
The National jury has highlighted the winning collection of poems for its “maturity”, which accommodates “a multitude of voices, styles and tones” in their reflections “on desire and death, nostalgia and the passage of time,” which ” they are combined with a perpetual search for enjoyment through words “. A work that, as a counterpoint, adds the jury, offers an “ironic dimension in its language and in the attitude it embodies”. “Elaborated over ten years, it masterfully combines the bitterness of the passing of the years and an unbreakable vitality and freshness”, he clarifies.

Agur Meabe, also a translator, graduated in Teaching and graduated in Basque Philology, has explained that, although she writes “a little in each genre”, she is “more a poet than anything else since I was a child, from my first babbling. It is what allows me to be more anchored to life and better project my dreams “. Although he has written mostly poetry and children’s literature, he has also cultivated storytelling for adults.

Previous awards
His collection of poems ‘Azalaren Kodea’ (‘The code of the skin’) received the National Critics Award in 2000 and his next book of poems, ‘Bitsa eskuetan’ (‘Foam in the hands’), published in 2010, he won the Critics Prize for Poetry in Basque. In 2002 he received the Euskadi Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature with ‘Itsaslabarreko Etxea’ (‘The house on the cliff’), an award he also received in 2007 for ‘Urtebete itsasargian’ (‘A year at the lighthouse’). In 2011 ‘Errepidea’ (‘The road’) won the Euskadi Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature.

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