Literary Tributes

  • Jim Spurr
    September 5, 2014 | Dorothy Alexander
    Oklahoma writer Dorothy Alexander remembers fellow poet Jim Spurr, a true “everyman poet.” Jim Spurr left this earthy existence on Sunday, August 31, 2014, after having one of the best days of his life. No lingering, no drama. Just fell down dead in an instant. How like him to “step off” in that manner. While he was a small-town kind of guy and the officially appointed Poet Laureate of S...
  • Nadine Gordimer
    July 14, 2014 | Nadine Gordimer
    Photo by Bengt Oberger In honor of Nadine Gordimer, who passed away yesterday at the age of ninety, we reprint here her testimonial from our Winter 1996 issue, devoted to “South African Literature in Transition.” Susan Sontag nominated Gordimer for the 1988 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. When I was sixteen or seventeen—distant youth blurs; years...
  • Maya Angelou
    May 28, 2014 | The Editors of WLT
    Photos by Gil Jain / Western History Collections / The University of Oklahoma The editors and staff of World Literature Today join in mourning the passing while celebrating the life and literary legacy of Maya Angelou, who died earlier today at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the age of eighty-six. Dr. Angelou was a visiting lecturer at the University...
  • Tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    April 18, 2014 | Daniel Simon
    When news broke yesterday about the death of Gabriel García Márquez, the entire staff of World Literature Today paused to reflect on the legacy of a writer who not only redrew the map of world literature but also added a thousand new colors to illustrate its unknown territories. García Márquez received the first of many international awards when he was chosen as the winner...
  • Walter and Alvaro
    September 25, 2013 | Daniel Simon
    Walter Neustadt Jr. (left) and Álvaro Mutis at the Neustadt banquet, University of Oklahoma, October 18, 2002 The editors and staff of World Literature Today were greatly saddened to hear the news of Álvaro Mutis’s passing this week; the celebrated Colombian-born poet and novelist died on September 22 in Mexico City at the age of ninety. We fondly remember...
  • September 3, 2013 | Tony Beaulieu
    Photo Burns Library, Boston College/Flickr In tribute to Seamus Heaney (1939–2013), who passed away Friday in Dublin, Ireland, World Literature Today opened its archives to pay its respects to the lauded poet. Heaney was nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1994, and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His 1975 collection, North, is consid...
  • Chinua Achebe
    March 23, 2013 | WLT
    Photo by Angela Radulescu/Flickr   In tribute to Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, who passed away this Thursday at the age of 82, we’ve opened the vault to share these compelling and inspiring words by Gabriel Okara in his nominating statement for Chinua Achebe for the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Achebe was a candidate for the Neustadt Prize in 1994 and 2004, and was a memb...