The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today since 1969.
The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today. The Prize consists of $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver, and a certificate. A generous endowment from the Neustadt family of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Dallas, Texas, ensures the award in perpetuity. The prize was established in 1969 as the Books Abroad International Prize for Literature, then renamed the Books Abroad / Neustadt Prize before assuming its present name in 1976, The Neustadt International Prize for Literature. It is the first international literary award of this scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists, and playwrights are equally eligible. Critically acclaimed Indian-Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry received the prize during the 2012 Neustadt Festival at the University of Oklahoma last fall (September 25-28).
Visit our Past Laureates page to see all previous winners, finalists, and jurors for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Neustadt Jurors and Finalists
“M’Illumino D’Immenso – I flood myself with the light of the immense.” ― Giuseppe Ungaretti, 1970 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” ― Gabriel García Márquez, 1972 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“Verbal humor is one of the more obvious features of Ponge’s style. It runs the whole gamut of word play, down to the outrageous sort of pun customarily greeted with a groan. In part, this carries on the systematic surrealist destruction of conventional literature.” — Micheal Riffaterre on 1974 Neustadt Prize Laureate Francis Ponge
“If after I read a poem the world looks like that poem for 24 hours or so I’m sure it’s a good one—and the same goes for paintings. ” ― Elizabeth Bishop, 1976 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“In a room where / people unanimously maintain / a conspiracy of silence, / one word of truth / sounds like a pistol shot.” ― Czesław Miłosz, 1978 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“Like Franz Kafka, Josef Škvorecký is a man who writes in a minor language and has become, in translation, the spokesman for the mind and soul of people in far greater numbers than the original language could have reached.” — Arnošt Lustig on the 1980 Neustadt Prize Laureate Josef Škvorecký
“By approaching language through poetry and passion he deals with a universal fact—there is no culture without language, and language belongs to all of us—through feelings (sensuousness, sexual passion) that are also our common heritage.” — Manuel Durán on 1982 Neustadt Prize Laureate Octavio Paz
“Finnish is not a language, it is a way of setting at the end of the bench with your fur cap pulled over your ears.” ― Paavo Haavikko, 1984 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.” ― Max Frisch, 1986 Neustadt Prize Laureate
“[Raja Rao is] perhaps the most brilliant—and certainly the most interesting—writer of modern India.”—Santha Rama Rau on 1988 Neustadt Prize Laureate Raja Rao
A Look Back At…
"He seems not only to see but also to say, sometimes tortuously but at the same time quite clearly and incorruptibly, how things are. The world speaks 'indistinctly, fast and about everything all at once,' and Haavikko's solution has been to look at the world face to face and learn its language."—Kai Laitinen, "Introduction to Paavo Haavikko's Poetry" (WLT Vol. 58, Autumn 1984) Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008) was a Finnish poet and playwright. He published his first collection of poetry in…