In 1996, the Lerici Pea Association took over from Alberta Andreoli in order to preserve a 42-year-old Prize – surely one of the most significant events in the La Spezia area and in the Italian scene too.
Aiming to create a new program, the Association established the Lifetime Achievement Prize, intending to expand its action in the international scene and to introduce people to the greatest poets in the world.
Over the past years, the Association has overseen the publication of its annual Anthology and of the Winners’ monographs, including unpublished texts written on purpose.
In 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2017 respectively, four great Italian poets were awarded (Mario Luzi, Attilio Bertolucci, Edoardo Sanguineti, Milo De Angelis), along with other Poets whose voice contributes to keep great Poetry alive.
The list includes:
- Adonis, a Syrian-born poet of Lebanese citizenship, who lives in Paris. He is recognised as the greatest living Arab-speaking Poet, nominated for the Nobel Prize more than once. The LericiPea Prize contributed to making his works known and translating them in Italian for the first time.
- Yves Bonnefoy, French scholar and one of the greatest European poets and intellectuals, was nominated for the Nobel Prize.
- H. Magnus Enzensberger, consciously and ironically depicting our time, is the greatest heir of the great German civil poetry, from Heine to Brecht.
- Juan Gelman, born in Buenos Aires, was forced to flee Argentina as he strongly opposed the military regime through political resistance. In the 1970s, he lost his son and daughter-in-law, desaparecidos, they werekilled by the police. Giuseppe Conte writes that Gelman “shows us that poetry truly keeps the most humane parts of human beings alive: memory, dignity in suffering…”.
- Seamus Heaney, Irish, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Awarded in 2005, he presented to his Italian readers some of his unpublished poems focused on his dearest topics and on his idea of Poetry.
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, father of the Beat Generation, for more than half a century wrote about the troubled history of America and reported it in more than fifteen poetry books.
- Jesper Svenbro, great European intellectual and eminent voice of the Scandinavian Poetry, among the winners of the Nobel Prize, is a poet that portrays the open and ever-changing European spirit.
- Bella Achmadulina, considered the greatest Russian contemporary poet and Anna Achmatova’s heiress.
- François Cheng, Chinese poet, critic, calligrapher and intellectual, and member of the French Academy. He is considered the most important and acute cultural mediator between China and Europe. His studies are fundamental for those who intend to understand the Eastern culture.
- Cees Nooteboom was born in The Hague in 1933 and lives between the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. He is certainly the leading living exponent of the “Nordic” poetry and literature, nominated for the Nobel Prize more than once. The New York Times defined him as “one of the loudest voices in the contemporary authors’ choir”.
- Milo De Angelis was awarded the LericiPea Prize for his incomparable talent in 2017, when a new poetry emerged after the “Novissimi” neo-avantgarde group. Indeed, he managed to decline the Italian verse between evocative images and everyday accuracy, a sort of bifocal view which has always attracted and fascinated readers. Anyone can feel his genuine honesty, as well as his will to be loyal to poetry, the sole purpose of his life.
- Since 1998, the Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded every year, by decision LericiPea Award Owner’s and the Jury of Excellence, only to the greatest Italian and international poets, by curriculum vitae and “corpus” of poetic work. An essential requirement in order to receive the Prize is that the designated poet comes to collect the prize personally. Only in exceptional cases, if alternative awards events were to be implemented (see streaming links), the expected cash prize will not be paid, but the poet will only be sent the Prize Plaque, the motivation of the Jury and copies of books.
1991 – Dario Bellezza
1992 – Valentino Zeichen
1993 – Fernando Bandini
1994 – Alessandro Parronchi
1995 – Maria Luisa Spaziani
1996 – Giovanni Giudici e Paolo Ruffilli
1997 – Not awarded
1998 – Mario Luzi
1999 – Attilio Bertolucci
2000 – Adonis
2001 – Yves Bonnefoy
2002 – Hans Magnus Enzensberger
2003 – Juan Gelman
2004 – Edoardo Sanguineti
2005 – Seamus Heaney
2006 – Lawrence Ferlinghetti
2007 – Jesper Svembro
2008 – Bella Achmadulina
2009 – François Cheng
2010 – Ismail Kadare
2011 – Márcia Theóphilo
2012 – Evgenij Aleksandrovič Evtušenko
2013 – Titos Patrikios
2014 – Agi Mishol, Amel Moussa e Gabriella Sica
2015 – Tahar Ben Jelloun
2016 – Cees Nooteboom
2017 – Milo De Angelis
2018 – Carol Ann Duffy
2019 – Antonio Colinas
2020 – Ol’ga Aleksandrovna Sedakova
2021 – Tomaso Kemeny
2022 – Louise Glück