The Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes) is an award that is granted annually by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The prize is named in honor of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of Don Quijote de la Mancha. This book is considered by most as the most important work of literature in the Spanish language.
This prize was founded in 1976 with the objective of being the most prestigious prize in Spanish language literature to “honor the lifetime achievement of a Spanish Language writer whose contribution to the Hispanic Cultural Heritage has been decisive”.
In 1979 it was decided that this prize may not be shared, declared null and void or given posthumously.
The Royal Spanish Academy and the national language academies from other hispanophone countries are responsible for the selection of the candidates as well as previous Cervantes Prize winners.
The Prize jury is comprised of 11 people representing different backgrounds and expertise: national language academies from Spain and Hispanic America (2); the previous two prize winners (2); academic, university and literary field (4); journalists (2) and a Hispanic expert from a non-Hispanic country (1).
The winner of the prize is announced at the end of each calendar year while the ceremony is always held on April 23—the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. The ceremony is held in the main hall of the University of Alcalá and it is presided over by the King of Spain with the Minister of Culture in attendance.
- 1976 Jorge Guillén (España)
- 1977 Alejo Carpentier (Cuba)
- 1978 Dámaso Alonso (España)
- 1979 Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina) y Gerardo Diego (España)
- 1980 Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay)
- 1981 Octavio Paz (México)
- 1982 Luis Rosales (España)
- 1983 Rafael Alberti (España)
- 1984 Ernesto Sábato (Argentina)
- 1985 Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (España)
- 1986 Antonio Buero Vallejo (España)
- 1987 Carlos Fuentes (México)
- 1988 María Zambrano (España)
- 1989 Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay)
- 1990 Adolfo Bioy Casares (Argentina)
- 1991 Francisco Ayala (España)
- 1992 Dulce María Loynaz (Cuba)
- 1993 Miguel Delibes (España)
- 1994 Mario Vargas Llosa (Perú)
- 1995 Camilo José Cela (España)
- 1996 José García Nieto (España)
- 1997 Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba)
- 1998 José Hierro (España)
- 1999 Jorge Edwards (Chile)
- 2000 Francisco Umbral (España)
- 2001 Alvaro Mutis (Colombia)
- 2002 José Jiménez Lozano (España)
- 2003 Gonzalo Rojas (Chile)
- 2004 Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio (España)
- 2005 Sergio Pitol (México)
- 2006 Antonio Gamoneda (España)
- 2007 Juan Gelman (Argentina)
- 2008 Juan Marsé (España)
- 2009 José Emilio Pacheco (México)
- 2010 Ana María Matute (España)
- 2011 Nicanor Parra (Chile)
- 2012 José Manuel Caballero Bonald (España)
- 2013 Elena Poniatowska (México)
- 2014 Juan Goytisolo (España)