Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature


Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

–Russell Hall

Bob Dylan has been the rock era’s unofficial poet laureate for more than a half-century. Today (Oc. 13), the Swedish Nobel Prize Academy made that assessment official. Praising the 75-year-old songwriter for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Academy awarded Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature. The choice of Dylan marks the first instance in which the honor has gone to a musician. The award puts Dylan in the esteemed company of such literary icons as Toni Morrison, Saul Bellow, Samuel Beckett and Pablo Neruda. He becomes the first American to receive the honor since Morrison won it in 1993.

The awarding of the prize to Dylan was not without controversy, but most of the songwriter’s artist-peers felt the honor was much-deserved. “I am ecstatic that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel,” tweeted author Stephen King. “A great and good thing in a season of sleaze and sadness.” “Congratulations to Bob Dylan on the Nobel Prize for Literature,” echoed songwriter Robyn Hitchcock. “He launched me and many others on oceans of which we’d never dreamed.” The Nobel Prize comes with a financial award of around $900,000. The honor is presented for a lifetime of writing rather than for a single work.