Nobel Literature Prize winner to accept via piano recital


80-year-old Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer has been named as this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and will accept the prize in a rather unusual way.

Because he suffered a stroke over 20 years ago he has lost the use of his right arm and has difficulty communicating vocally. As well as his gift in poetry, he is able to express himself musically through the piano.

Many Swedish musicians have adapted their compositions so they can be played one-handed. Friend, Neil Astley, said that Transtromer often expressed himself through music. “I imagine he’ll be in a wheelchair, and he will speak to people through the piano,” he said.

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Transtromer was born in Stockholm in 1931 and his first poetry collection, “Seventeen Poems”, was published when he was 23. He’s a qualified psychologist and divided his time between poetry and working in institutions for juvenile offenders.