If Bob Dylan isn’t going to publicly acknowledge his Nobel Prize, his hometown sure will.
Hibbing High School honored its most famous alum this week, changing , the sign out front to read, “Congrats to Bob Zimmerman, Class of 1959 who received a Nobel Prize in literature.”
The school, located on Minnesota’s Iron Range, was quick to recognize the rock ’n’ roll legend (by his given name) for the prestigious award, announced last week in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dylan, 75, was chosen for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
It is the first time the accolade has gone to a musician.
“We at HHS are proud of all our graduates but this is a first for us!” officials posted on the school’s official Facebook page.
The school wasn’t always so supportive. When Dylan was a teen, the principal there pulled the curtain on his noisy rock band during a talent show in the auditorium.
Dylan, who was born in Duluth but came of age in Hibbing, has declined media interviews. The Swedish Academy, which bestows the annual honor, has been unable to reach Dylan, and has spoken only with Dylan’s associate, not the music icon himself.
He also hasn’t mentioned the prize during two concerts since last Thursday’s announcement.
As of Tuesday, Dylan’s official website made no mention of the prize except in the books section, where a post dated Oct. 17 about his compilation “The Lyrics: 1961-2012” noted in all caps that he was a Nobel Prize winner.
It remains unclear whether he plans to attend the awards ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10, though the Academy hopes he will be there.
The Nobel Prize is likely the most notable of the heap of awards already given to the singer/songwriter. That list also includes the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2012), a Pulitzer Prize (2008), an Oscar (2001), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1991) and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction (1988).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648