Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature but won't be attending the prize ceremony

Bob Dylan may deliver his Noble Lecture in Stockholm next year.

The Swedish Academy, which awards the prestigious annual prize, said in a statement earlier this week (Nov 16) that the iconic musician has confirmed he will be absent from the ceremony on December 10.

The Academy’s statement reads: “Yesterday evening the Swedish Academy received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony. He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person.”

38088735civi_20010629_34876.jpgNational Archives

Billboard now reports that Dylan will likely will travel to Stockholm next year and might give his Nobel Lecture then, the Swedish Academy said Friday. Dylan likely will give a concert in the Swedish capital, offering “a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture,” said The Swedish Academy, who award the Nobel Prize for literature.

On Friday (Nov 18) The Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius told Swedish public radio that the Nobel Foundation’s rules for laureate lectures are “flexible.” Dylan can deliver his as “a written speech, a spontaneous discourse, a film” or another format of his choosing.

In light of Dylan’s prize, The Academy praised him for “creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Despite this, Dylan failed initially to acknowledge the honour, and was branded “impolite and arrogant” by one member of the Academy for failing to respond.

Dylan finally spoke about being awarded the Nobel Prize over two weeks after it was announced he was receiving the honour.

“It’s hard to believe,” he told the Daily Telegraph in an interview. “[Being awarded the Nobel Prize is] amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”

Asked why he chose to stay silent about it for so long, Dylan only replied: “Well, I’m right here.”