Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan has announced that he will not be present at the Nobel Prize ceremony to collect his Nobel Prize in Literature.


The folk rocker is the first songwriter to win the literature prize, and was praised by the panel for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” The Nobel committee had trouble getting in touch with Dylan after his win was announced, and he finally opened up about the achievement weeks ago. “Isn’t that something? It’s hard to believe,” he told the Telegraph.

At first, when asked if he could attend the Dec. 10 ceremony, Dylan responded, “Absolutely, if it’s at all possible.” Now, however, he has reached out to say he will not be able to make it. The Swedish Academy received a personal letter from the 75-year-old, in which he explains he cannot attend “due to pre-existing commitments.” He will still give a Nobel lecture, which every prize-winner is required to give within six months of receiving his or her award.

Dylan joins a short list of Nobel recipients who did not attend their ceremonies, which include Harold Pinter and Doris Lessing in 2005 and 2007, respectively.


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“The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan,” said a statement from the Swedish Academy. “We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel lecture, which he must give – it is the only requirement – within six months counting from December 10, 2016.”

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