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Bob Dylan Won't Go to Stockholm to Pick Up His Nobel Prize

The Swedish Academy says Bob Dylan told them that 'he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible.'
Image: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan in an undated photo taken in Denmark.Jan Persson / Redferns via Getty Images

Bob Dylan won't be coming to Stockholm to pick up his 2016 Nobel Prize for literature at the Dec. 10 prize ceremony, the Swedish Academy said Wednesday.

The Academy says Dylan told them that "he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible."

Musician Bob Dylan onstage during the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium on January 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.Christopher Polk

The 75-year-old American singer-songwriter was awarded the prize on Oct. 13 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

The literature prize and five other Nobel Prizes will be officially conferred upon winners in Stockholm next month on the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

The Academy said it "respects Bob Dylan's decision," adding it was not travelling to the Swedish capital to personally pick up the prestigious award was "unusual, but not exceptional."

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Literature laureates have skipped the ceremony before. In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia.

"The award is still theirs, as it now belongs to Bob Dylan," the Academy said. "We are looking forward to Bob Dylan's Nobel lecture, which he must hold, according to the requirements, within six months" from Dec. 10.

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