Marcelo Panguana

Marcelo Panguana awarded Premio de Literatura José Craveirinha 2023

Marcelo Panguana was named the winner of Mozambique’s Premio de Literatura José Craveirinha 2023 at a ceremony in Maputo on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

José João Craveirinha (1922 — 2003) is considered Mozambique’s greatest poet. Some of his titles were Xigubo (1964), Cantico a un dio di Catrame (1966), Cell 1 (1980), Maria (1988), Hamina and Other Tales (1998), Maria. Vol.2. (1998), and Poems from Prison (2004).  In 1991, he became the first African author awarded the Camões Prize, the most important literary prize in the Portuguese language. Some of his other awards were Reinaldo Ferreira Prize from the Beira Art and Culture Centre (1961), Essay Prize from the Beira Art and Culture Centre (1961), Italian National Poetry Prize (1975), Afro-Asian Writers Association Lotus Award (1983), and Medal of Merit from São Paulo, Brazil (1987).

Premio de Literatura José Craveirinha was established in 2003, in honour of the poet by Associação dos Escritores Moçambicanos (Association of Mozambican Writers) which he was the first president and co-founder in 1981. Until 2007, it was awarded the best book of the year and from 2009 onwards awarded the career of a Mozambican writer, poet, or essayist whose work has enriched Mozambican literary art and culture. The sponsor of the award with a $25,000 cash prize is Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric (HCB). Some of the previous winners have been Paulina Chiziane, Eduardo White, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, Lília Momplé, Aldino Muianga, and Mia Couto.

Marcelo Panguana was named the winner of the 2023 edition at a ceremony conducted by Associação dos Escritores Moçambicanos on Thursday. Maputo-born Panguana published the short story collections As Vozes Que Falam Verdade (1987), and A Balada dos Deuses (1991). He is also the author of O Chão das Graças (2004), Os ossos de Ngungunhana, João Kuimba, Chico Ndaenda e outros contos (2006), Como um loco ao fim da tarde (2010), Conversas do fim do mundo (2012), and O vagabundo da patria (2016). In 1999, together with Jorge Oliveira, he published “Fazedores da Alma”, a collection of interviews with various personalities of Mozambican culture.

On receiving the award Marcelo Panguana said, “This means that in the near future, with my dear wife, we are going to pretend, throughout the country, that we are rich. It will fundamentally allow me to have peace of mind, to have the presence of mind to continue doing what I like, which is writing, writing, writing, and writing.”

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