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Nobel Prize in literature awarded to Swedish poet

The 2011 Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, whose surrealistic works about the mind’s mysteries have influenced many writers.

The Nobel Foundation, which has been issuing the annual prizes in six categories since 1901, said Thursday in a brief statement the 80-year-old writer was given the honour “because through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”

Transtromer has been a perennial favourite for the $1.5 million US prize, and in recent years journalists have waited outside his apartment in Stockholm on the day the literature prize was announced.

His most famous works include the 1966 Windows and Stones, in which he depicts themes from his many travels, and Baltics from 1974.

His works have been translated into more than 60 languages and influenced poets around the globe, particularly in North America.

The prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry were awarded earlier this week. The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and the prize in economic sciences will be announced Friday and Monday, respectively.

With files from The Associated Press