Pablo Neruda wasn’t born with the name by which so many readers across the globe have come to know his work. Rather, he was born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in the small Chilean town of Parral, Chile. This December marks the 45th anniversary of Neruda winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1971, Neruda traveled back to Stockholm—he had visited on previous occasions and had met the founder of Sweden’s first poetry journal, FIB:S lyrikklub, Stig Carlson—to accept the Nobel Prize. Yet his winning this award wasn’t entirely a surprise. To be sure, scholars and fans of his work had been making efforts for years to encourage the Nobel Committee to recognize the poet’s achievements. On this anniversary of Neruda winning the Nobel Prize, we’d like to think a bit more about why Neruda was selected for the award, as well as some of the reasons that the Nobel Committee didn’t honor him earlier in his lifetime.