Casa de las Américas Prize

The Casa de las Américas Prize (Premio Literario Casa de las Américas) is a literary award given by the Cuban Casa de las Américas. Established in 1959, it is one of Latin America’s oldest and most prestigious literary prizes.

Casa de las Américas Prize
Casaamerica 2015 logo.jpg
Awarded forLatin American and Caribbean literature in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French
Presented byCasa de las Américas
First awarded1960

The award is presented for works in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French by writers from Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to the main categories of fiction, poetry, and essays, there are categories for narrative and children's literature.


The award was founded in 1959 as the Hispanic American Literary Competition (Concurso Literario Hispanoamericano), as a Latin American counterpart to the British Booker Prize and the U.S. Pulitzer Prize.[1] It was renamed as the Latin American Literary Competition (Concurso Literario Latinoamericano) in 1964, and has been presented under its current name since 1965.[2]

Since 1960, the main categories are novels, poetry, short stories, drama, and essays in Spanish.[3] In 1970, a new category was added for testimonial narratives, and in 1973, the awards in the essay and testimonio categories were expanded to include works in Portuguese by Brazilian authors. A category for children's literature was added in 1975, and works by Caribbean authors in English and French have been eligible in all genres of fiction since 1976 and 1978, respectively. Since 1978, works by Brazilian authors in Portuguese are eligible in all categories.[4] In 2000, three honorary awards were established in the categories narrative, essay, and poetry.[1]

Due to the growing diversity of genres and categories, awards in some categories are now presented in alternate years, and awards are not always presented in every category.[5]


Juries for the awards are made up of prominent writers, academics, and intellectuals from throughout Latin America.

Scholars and writers who have won the prize include Edward Brathwaite, Humberto Costantini, Eduardo Galeano, Renato Prada Oropeza, Susana Rotker, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, Françoise Perus, Beatriz González-Stephan and Luis Britto García. Among them are many recipients whose work was virtually unknown and who are now widely read and translated into many languages, such as Jorge Enrique Adoum and Roque Dalton.

The Casa de las Américas Prize has been credited with attracting international attention to Latin American literature, and with contributing to a major literary renaissance that resulted in the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to writers such as Pablo Neruda in 1971 and Gabriel García Márquez in 1982.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Aldama 2004, p. 111.
  2. ^ Madrazo 2015.
  3. ^ Smorkaloff 1997, p. 130.
  4. ^ Smorkaloff 1997, p. 131.
  5. ^ Smorkaloff 1997, p. 132.


  • Aldama, Luis (2004). "Casa de las Américas". In Candelaria, Cordelia; García, Peter J.; Aldama, Arturo J. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 110–113. ISBN 9780313332104. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  • Madrazo, Gonzalo Vuelta (11 January 2015). "Premio Casa: convocatoria longeva pero siempre atractiva". Cuba Contemporánea (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  • Smorkaloff, Pamela María (1997). "Chapter 6. The Institutionalization of Literary Culture". Readers and Writers in Cuba: A Social History of Print Culture, 1830s-1990s. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-8153-2099-9. Retrieved 19 January 2015.

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