A group of 22 writers from 13 Latin American and Caribbean countries began reading sessions today for the 55th edition of the Casa de las Americas Literary Prize, the longest running literary event in the region, Prensa Latina reports.
For the 13th consecutive year, Cienfuegos, some 250 kilometers south-east of Havana, is hosting the jurors who will decide the awards in six genres, welcoming them at the emblematic Jagua Hotel.
More than 300 works are competing for Casa Awards in short story, theater, artistic-literary essay, Brazilian and Caribbean literatures in English and Creole language, and a special prize dedicated to studies on women, the latter convened for the third time, with the two previous prizes awarded in 1994 and 2004.
The contest pays tribute to two figures linked to the institution in their respective centenaries: Guatemalan playwright Manuel Galich, and Cuban painter Mariano Rodriguez.
This time, Casa de las Americas is using the call of its literary award as a prelude to honor the centenaries in 2014 of a group of intellectuals from the continent, most of them linked to the work of the institution.
These include the Puerto Rican Julia de Burgos (1914-), Argentinians Julio Cortazar (1914-1984) and Adolfo Bioy Casares (1914-1999), Mexicans Octavio (1914-1998), Jose Revueltas (1914-1976) and Efrain Huerta (1914-1982), and Chilean poet Nicanor Parra (1914).
Juries of the 2014 Casa Prize: Short story: Rosa Beltran (Mexico), Alejandra Costamagna (Costa Rica), Angela Hernandez (Dominican Republic), Carlos Wynter (Panama) and Emerio Medina (Cuba). Essay: Juan Gelpi (Puerto Rico), Saul Sosnoswki (Argentina) and Alberto Garrandes (Cuba).
In theater, the jury is made up of Ignacio Apolo (Argentina), Javier Jurado (Colombia), Soledad Lagos (Chile), Gustavo Ott (Venezuela) and Osvaldo Cano (Cuba); while the jury for the women’s studies prize are Anabelle Contreras (Costa Rica), Chiqui Vicioso (Dominican Republic) and Norma Vasallo (Cuba).
The jury for literatures not in the Spanish language includes Brazilians Eric Nepomuceno, Luis Bernardo Pericas and Suely Rolnik, as well as Lasana Selou (San Martin), Pablo Armando Fernandez and Maria Teresa Ortega, from Cuba.