Despite wild rumors that Bob Dylan was the favorite to win, the Swedish Academy awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for literature to one of their own, surrealist poet Tomas Tranströmer, who has been a long-time favorite to win the $1.5 million honor. The judges praised Tranströmer’s work for its “condensed translucent images” which give readers “fresh access to reality.” Born in Stockholm in 1931, he published his first poetry collection, 17 Dikter (“17 Poems”) while still in college at the University of Stockholm. His collections, which explore his native country and other regions of the world, include Hemligheter på vägen (1958), Klangar och spår (1966), and Östersjöar (1974).

The Guardian notes that Tranströmer is the eighth European to be awarded the Nobel, the world’s most prestigious literary honor, in the past ten years.