Claudio Rodríguez

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About the author

Born in Zamora in January 1934, Claudio Rodríguez is one of the most personal poets of the mid-century generation and with his work Don de la ebriedad (1953) — considered to be one of his most important, outstanding titles — he laid down the way his poetry and that of others of his generation would have to go.

In 1951 he moved to Madrid, to study Philosophy and Letters, graduating with a degree in Romance Philology with a dissertation entitled, El elemento mágico en las canciones infantiles de corro castellanas. In fact, his biographers point out that his personality as a youth was characterised by two traits: that of being very fond of children, a lover of observing and recreating their games and songs, and that of being a great walker, always "out and about". Apparently, his walks through Zamora, along the banks of the Duero and through other Castilian towns were famous.

In the Spanish capital he formed a closer relationship with Vicente Aleixandre, the famous poet of the Generation of ´27 and Nobel Prize-winner for Literature, at whose home all the young poets of those days called, with their manuscripts under their arms, to show them to the "master of poets".

With a great mastery of language, especially in relating scenes, he is also the author of other volumes of poetry of such great beauty as Conjuros, Alianza y condena, El vuelo de la celebración and Casi una leyenda. His great capacity for observation, his natural sense of rhythm and his everyday language, at once concrete and transcendent, combine to form a poetic career from which two basic values may be drawn: solidarity and simplicity.

Rodriguez worked intensively as a teacher and lecturer. For example, he served as Reader in Spanish at the Universities of Nottingham and Cambridge from 1958 to 1964, and lecturer in Spanish Literature at various American universities with campuses in Spain. Likewise, he is an outstanding translator into Spanish of the works of T.S. Eliot.

Claudio Rodríguez won some of the most important awards in Spanish literature, such as the "Adonais" Poetry Prize (in 1953 and 1983), the National Poetry Prize (1983) and the Critics Prize (1965), the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters (1993) and "Reina Sofia" Prize for Latin-American Poetry (1993), granted by Spanish National Heritage and the University of Salamanca. He was a member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language from 1987 until his death in 1999.

[This biography is adapted from the one made available by the Fundación Príncipe de Asturias at their website.]

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