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The coveted Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Tomas Transtromer for his work in poetry. Transtromer received the news of his winnings on October 6. Transtromer will receive $1.5 million for winning the Nobel Prize. He is a native of Stockholm, Sweden, where the announcement was made.
At 80 years old, Transtromer has spent a great deal of his life working on his craft of poetry. Over the decades, he has had over 15 different collections of poetry published internationally. His work has been translated into 60 languages, which makes his poetry easily accessible to readers world wide.
Many of his original work has been translated into English. Some of his published collections include “Twenty Poems,” “The Half-Finished Heart,” and “The Deleted World.” Transtromer comes from humble beginnings in his native Sweden. He was born in 1931 in Stockholm, where he went to school and studied many subjects including psychology and literature.
Before setting his focus on writing poetry, Transtromer worked as a psychologist for troubled youth. It wasn’t until 1990 when Transtromer became very serious about his works of poetry. After being affected by a stroke, he was unable to speak as much as he once could. It was then when he relied on his writing to express his ideas.
Much of this Swedish poet’s writing delves into various themes that can be seen throughout his work. Transtromer is famous for his focus on emotions. With a strong background in psychology, he uses his knowledge of the way people think and feel to create literary masterpieces.
He plays with the ideas of identity and tries to express feelings of mankind through his poems. Being from Scandinavia,Transtromer is able to identify the emotions that come along with Sweden’s dark, drawn out winters. He is famous for poetically expressing Scandinavian winters and writing about nature as well.
“He is to Sweden what Robert Frost was to America. The national character, if you can say one exists, and the landscape of Sweden are very much reflected in his work. It’s easy because of that to overlook the abiding strangeness and mysteriousness of his poems,” stated the editor of Granta, John Freeman.
Swedes celebrated the announcement of Transtromer’s Nobel Prize win. When the news was made public, journalists from around the world gathered in Transtromer’s Stockholm buildings in hopes of interviewing him. He is the first Swede since 1974 to win the Nobel Prize. The 1974 prize was shared between Harry Martinson and Eyvind Johnson. There have been 107 Nobel Prize winners before him.
Aside from the internationally well respected Nobel Prize, Transtromer has won a number of awards as well. He has been the recipient of awards such as Bellmanpriest in 1966 and the Nordic Prize of the Swedish Academy in 1991, both given in Sweden. He won the Horst Bienek Prize for Poetry in 1992 in Germany, and the Griffin Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 in Canada.
He is often regarded as one of the most important and influential poet of Scandinavian roots.