Malaysiakini News

First woman made national laureate

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In being announced as the 13th National Laureate, poet Zurinah Hassan has become the first woman in the country to be bestowed with the honour.

The announcement was made by Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid in a statement posted on his Facebook page today.

“I now announce Zurinah Hassan as the recipient of the 13th National Laureate Award which carries the title 'national laureate',” he said.

Mahdzir said Zurinah was chosen for her contributions to the country’s literary developments.

The 66-year-old was born in Bakar Bata, Alor Setar, Kedah on June 13, 1949.

The laureate is known for her poetry and produced a collection of poetry titles - Sesayup Jalan in 1974.

The 2004 Southeast Asian Writers Award recipient also published these works: Keberangkatan (1985), Kuala Lumpur and Other Places (1988), Pujangga Tidak Bernama (1994), Pesanan Dari Gunung Ledang ( 2004) and Salasilah (2 005).

Her works are also contained in anthology of poems Kuala Lumpur (1975), Bila Kita Berbicara (1976), Puis-puisi Nusantara (1981), Bintang Mengerdi p (1984) , 100 Sajak Malaysia (1984), Bunga Gerimis (1986) and Nota Waktu (2003 ).

Below is the list of recipients of past National Laureate Awards:

  • Keris Mas (Kamaludin Muhammad) - 1981

  • Shahnon Ahmad - 1982
  • Usman Awang - 1983
  • A Samad Said -1985 (photo)
  • Arena Wati (Muhammad Dahlan Abdul Biang) - 1987
  • Muhammad Haji Salleh - 1991
  • Noordin Hassan - 1993
  • Abdullah Hussain - 1996
  • S Othman Kelantan (Syed Othman Syed Omar) - 2003
  • Anwar Ridhwan - 2009
  • Kemala (Ahmad Kamal Abdullah) - 2011
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