Bob Dylan has spent the past five months shunning the limelight, but he has finally collected his Nobel Prize in Literature.
The 75-year-old folk singer was announced as the 2016 recipient of the prize last October, “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” He became the first musician to win the award in its more than 100 years of existence. Literary circles rang with chaos and indignation; Dylan appeared equally stumped, quipping, “Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, ‘Are my songs literature'”—in a speech that he didn’t even deliver himself, as he declined to attend the official prize-giving ceremony in Sweden in December.
This weekend, Dylan picked up his award at a private ceremony in Stockholm, according to the Swedish Academy, the entity that runs the Nobel Prizes. What Dylan said about the award during the ceremony isn’t known. The Swedish press wasn’t present, and the academy didn’t comment.
Swedish Academy permanent secretary Sara Danius preceded the event with a blog post outlining the handover of Dylan’s Nobel diploma and Nobel medal in a “small and intimate” setting with no media, where the musician happened to be scheduled to give two concerts.
That’s as far into the spotlight as Dylan is willing to venture, apparently. Per Nobel rules, award recipients must give a lecture by the following summer to collect their prize money ($900,000); Danius said Dylan is expected to send in a taped version.
“Taped Nobel lectures are presented now and then, the latest of which was that of Nobel Laureate Alice Munro in 2013,” Danius wrote, adding that no further details about the recording are known at this point. She added: “The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend.”
In Dylan’s equally-phoned-in acceptance speech at the December ceremony, which was delivered by US ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji, the musician apologized for his absence, spoke about his love of songwriting, and compared his writing process to that of William Shakespeare.