Mexican author Pacheco receives top Spanish literary prize

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The Independent Culture

Mexican novelist and poet Jose Emilio Pacheco was awarded Monday the Cervantes prize for 2009, the top literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world.

"He is an exceptional poet who deals with daily life, with depth and a liberty in his thinking, and a great capacity to create his own world and an impeccable use of language," said jury president Jose Antonio Pascual.

The prize, named after 16th century writer Miguel de Cervantes, Spain's greatest literary figure and the author of "Don Quixote", carries a cash award of 125,000 euros (187,000 dollars).

Pacheco, 70, will formally receive the award at a ceremony held on April 23, the anniversary of Cervantes' death.

The prize has been given out each year since 1976. The winner traditionally alternates between Spain and Latin America.

Last year the prize went to Spanish novelist Juan Marse. Previous winners have included Peruvian-born Mario Vargas Llosa and Mexico's Carlos Fuentes.

Among Pacheco's works are "The Castle in the Needle" published in 1962, "I stare at the ground " in 1986, "Zoology Album" in 1991 and "The Roaming Sand" in 1999.

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