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Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2016

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American singer/songwriter is first musician to win the prize

By Joanna Shaw

The American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan has become the first ever musician to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The decision was kept completely under wraps, and had been delayed for almost a week, before being announced yesterday. Dylan is also the first American to win since 1993.

The judges justified their decision by saying that Dylan, “Has created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan can certainly be appreciated as a poet in his own right, taking his stage name from poet Dylan Thomas and his songs such as ‘The Times they are A Changin’, ‘Mr Tambourine Man,’ and ‘Blowin’ In the Wind, each carrying a strong sense of poetic rhythm and telling its own story.

In an article for The Guardian in 2008, it was revealed that Dylan considers the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns as his greatest inspiration. Burn’s poem ‘A Red Red Rose,’ is said to be one of Dylan’s favourites. He reflects his inspiration from Burns in his music, as his lyrical flow can be compared to the great Romantic poets.

An array of well-known names have congratulated Dylan on his Nobel win, including US President Barack Obama who took to Twitter to congratulate the singer.

In an interview with the BBC, CP Lee, a musician, writer and so-called Dylanologist from Manchester, called Dylan “A master of using words. He has a way of using words that very few musicians have achieved. He has affected a lot of people.”

Musician and songwriter Billy Bragg said, “Dylan puts poetry into the form of music, he opened the door to the psychedelic movement of music.”

Mick Hucknall of band Simply Red summed up many people’s feelings for Dylan when he said, “He is the greatest living poet.”

Joanna is a first year MA student in Multimedia Journalism. Check out her blog booklifereads.tumblr.com, or follow her on Twitter @booklifereads.


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