A Moscow poet, singer and author whose work was once banned won the 1994 Booker Prize for his autobiography, "Abolished Theater."

Bulat Okudzhava won the $15,000 prize for the year's best Russian novel on Monday, but was ill and unable to attend the ceremony, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.Okudzhava, 70, published his first book of poetry in 1953 and won nationwide fame in the 1960s for his verse, which he sang while accompanying himself on guitar.