STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, a winner of the Nobel prize for literature, has died of a stroke at the age of 83, members of the Swedish Academy that confers the award said on Friday.
Transtromer was known for a relatively spare canon of surreal and lyrical poetry. His 2011 Nobel victory pleased many in the prize’s homeland, which had not celebrated a winner since 1974.
“Yes, it is true. I have spoken with his wife. I’m pretty shaken,” Academy member Kjell Espmark, a friend of the poet for 60 years, told Reuters. Another member, Per Wastberg, said Transtromer had died in a Stockholm hospital late on Thursday.
An earlier stroke, in 1990, had left him partly paralyzed and made it hard for him to speak. He had been a perennial favorite with bookmakers for years before he won the Nobel, for which he had been nominated every year since 1993.
The Swedish Academy said in its citation it had awarded him the prize “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”.
Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Sven Nordenstam, additional reporting by Johan Sennero; Editing by Mark Trevelyan