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Spain's Asturias award honours Canadian poet Anne Carson

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Canadian essayist and poet Anne Carson, author of the non-fiction book Eros the Bittersweet and the verse novel Autobiography of Red, will be honoured this year with one of Spain's prestigious Princess of Asturias Awards.

Carson 'among the most outstanding writers of the presen,' says jury

Poet and essayist Anne Carson, seen in New York in 2018, will receive one of Spain's prestigious Princess of Asturias Awards this year. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Shed)

Canadian essayist and poet Anne Carson, author of the non-fiction book Eros the Bittersweet and the verse novel Autobiography of Red, will be honoured 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, 1998's Autobiography of Red is one of her best-known books.

Autobiography of Red, among Carson's best known works, is a modern retelling of Greek mythology. (Peter Smith)

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.

"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 (about $76,000 Cdn) at a lavish ceremony in October. 

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