Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, will present Anne Perrier with the Grand Prix national de la poésie on Wednesday 7 March.

Created in 1981, the Grand Prix national de la poésie has awarded each year, until 1996, a French-language poet for his entire work.

Frédéric Mitterrand wished to revive this high distinction, which includes among its laureates Francis Ponge, Aimé Césaire, André du Bouchet, Eugène Guillevic, Edmond Jabès, Michel Deguy, Bernard Noël, Yves Bonnefoy and Philippe Jacottet.

The Minister has entrusted the presidency of the jury to Silvia Baron Supervielle. The other members of the jury, who are appointed for 3 years, are Aline Bergé, Christian Bobin, Muriel Bonicel, Florent Georgesco, Hélène Henry, Michel Lafon, Gérard Macé, Daniel Mesguich, Bruno Racine and Salah Stétié.

The prize is worth 15,000 euros.

Born in 1922 in Lausanne where she currently lives, the Swiss poet Anne Perrier published her first collection in 1952. Book after book, his work has become one of the very first of 20th century poetry.

She is the first woman to receive this distinction.

Anne Perrier’s poems are condensed of intensely lived experiences and deeply related to an imaginary at the same time singular, hence the personal images that carry the poems, and collective, largely structured by the Judeo-Jewish heritageas expressed in the Bible and its poetic books. (…)

Anne Perrier, who lives in Lausanne, led a peaceful family life, all of measure and discretion, animated however by a thirst for knowledge and beauty of great intensity. The work, the passion, the intransigence, the anger sometimes, it is to poetry and the arts that she consecrates them, because they are for her inseparable from her spiritual journey. The journeys, especially in the Mediterranean area, Greece, and especially Crete, Provence, Italy, with openings on the seas and deserts, complete its journey in so many decisive stages by their sensory richness, their power of awakening, their ancient marks, their dreams of origins and beginnings. (…)

Doris Jakubec (Postface de La Voie nomade, Geneva, MiniZoé, 2000)

«When one opens a book by Anne Perrier, one can only be struck by the little earthly matter that ensures as the ballast of each poem. The brevity of the v and the short length of each piece, sometimes limited to a simple tercet, the external elements often reduced to a few marks and so to speak lightened by a too high density, contribute to sketch a fragile drawing, almost a clean. One feels that such images burn with high loneliness, as if Anne Perrier found during her existence certain privileged correspondents, flowers, pebbles, trees, birds, or even more types of reflections or extensions of her inner being.»

Gérard Bocholier (Fourth cover of La Voie nomade & other poems: complete works 1952-2007, L'Escampette Éditions, 2008, Preface by Gérard Bocholier)