Luis Mateo Díez has been awarded the 2023 Cervantes prize, Spain’s most prestigious literary award.
The 81-year-old writer from León, Spain has published over 50 books including novels, poetry and essay collections. He was awarded the 2023 Miguel de Cervantes Prize for Literature in the Spanish Language on Tuesday (7 November).
The ceremony took place at the University of Alcalá de Henares, the near-Madrid birthplace of the prize’s namesake author in 1547. Celebrated on the anniversary of the ‘Don Quixote’ writer’s death, 23 April, the King and Queen of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia presented the prize to Díez in person.
Alongside prize money of €125,000, the prize is considered the most prestigious in Spanish literature.
"It's wonderful to be rewarded," 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”.
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.
Díez previously won the National Prize for Spanish Literature in 2020.