almog - Dan Keinan - January 10 2011
Ruth Almog: “One of the greatest living Hebrew authors.” Photo by Dan Keinan
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Maya Bejerano, Avirama Golan and Haim Be'er have been announced as recipients of the ACUM literary awards for 2010. Ruth Almog will receive a lifetime achievement award.

ACUM is Israel's music and literary rights association. The prizes will be presented at a ceremony later this month. Golan is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper's editorial board.

With regard to the lifetime achievement award for Almog, the award jury said in its announcement that it was honoring one of the greatest living authors writing in Hebrew: "Since 1969," the jury wrote, "when her first collection of stories was published, to today, dozens of her works have been published, including collections of stories, novels, novellas, children's books, detective novels (with Esther Ettinger ) and thousands of literary articles published on the pages of the Haaretz literary supplement, of which she served as deputy editor for many years, works which established her status as a courageous and subversive prose writer with emotional and intellectual force."

Almog's award includes a cash prize of $30,000.

The Shlomo Tanai award for the encouragement of the publication of creative work will be awarded to the poet Riki Daskal for "Hakoah Hamedumeh."

The judges said her poems were characterized by "their directness, refinement and inspiration" which maintained a hidden connection with Hebrew literature on every level, both ancient and modern.

The jury added: "We have no doubt whatsoever that this book will further solidify her special status as a poet of emotional and intellectual power ..." The jury noted Daskal's latest book is being accorded recognition following the honors accorded to her prior four books. Daskal's prize carries a $13,000 cash award.

The poetry prize for works submitted anonymously will go to Shlomo "Dido" Didovsky, for "Ha'ish mibavel." The judges noted that the work was a small and modest collection that used spare, concentrated language and nonetheless had "an entire whole world hidden inside."

'A rich collection'

The judges said a single line of a Didovsky poem is enough to evoke the reader's imagination of an entire landscape coming to life and called "Ha'ish mibavel" "a rich collection of poems, original and beautiful." The award includes a $13,000 purse.

The award for the encouragement of the publication of children's literature will go to Shoham Smith for "Sefer Ha'agadot Shelanu." The jury said Smith had taken on a major assignment in selecting portions from the great work of the Jewish people, the treasury of aggadot from the Talmud, and adapting them to an elementary-school reading level. The jury said Smith acquitted herself well, "succeeding to create an up-to-date and fascinating tapestry." The award includes a $9,000 cash prize.

The fiction prize for works submitted anonymously will be awarded to Eran Bar-Gil for his novel "Kessem v'kazav," which the jury called exciting and original. The panel noted that the novel reflects Bar-Gil's exhibited extensive knowledge of science. The prize carries a $13,000 monetary award.