Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Tomas Tranströmer, the Swedish poet whose sometimes bleak but powerful work explores themes of nature, isolation and identity, won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

The assembled press broke out in loud cheers at the news that Mr. Transtrõmer, who was born in Stockholm, had won the prize.

Mr. Tranströmer, 80, has written more than 15 collections of poetry, many of which have been translated into English and 60 other languages.

Neil Astley, the editor of Bloodaxe Books in Britain, called Mr. Tranströmer “a metaphysical visionary poet.”

“His poetry is both universal and particular,” Mr. Astley said. “It’s complex but very direct at the same time. He’s worked for much of his life as a psychologist, and the work is characterized by very strong psychological insight into humanity.”

Mr. Tranströmer, whose mother was a schoolteacher and father a journalist, studied literature, history, religion and psychology at the University of Stockholm, graduating in 1956. He briefly worked as a psychologist at a youth correctional facility.

His following in the United States began to grow in the 1960’s. In 1990, Mr. Tranströmer suffered a stroke that left him mostly unable to speak.


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