Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco wins Cervantes Prize

By John Mitchell

I first discovered the works of Jose Emilio Pacheco during the 1980’s when I came across an English translation of his poems in a Mexico City bookstore. Pacheco immediately became and remains one of my favorite contemporary Latin American poets. His haunting verse probes the mysteries of time and decay and expresses wonder and a profound respect for the natural world.

Recently it was announced that Jose Emilio Pacheco has won the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary award for writing in Spanish. Pacheco, now 70 years old, lives in Mexico City. In addition to numerous books of poetry, he has written essays, short stories, and novels. The Cervantes Prize honors his entire body of work.