American Poet Louise Gluck Wins Nobel Prize For Literature

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Samuel Case, FISM News

American poet Louise Gluck won the 2020 Nobel Prize in¬†Literature¬†for works exploring family and childhood in an “unmistakable…voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” the Swedish Academy said.

Born in New York, Gluck becomes the 16th woman to win the literary world’s most prestigious distinction since the Nobel prizes were launched more than a century ago. A professor of English at Yale University, Gluck first rose to critical acclaim with her 1968 collection of poems entitled “Firstborn,” and went on to become one of the most celebrated poets and essayists in contemporary America.

While she draws on her own experiences in her poetry, Gluck, who is twice divorced and suffered from anorexia in younger years, explores universal themes that resonate with readers in the United States and abroad. Erica McAlpine, associate professor of English at Britain’s Oxford University, said Gluck “has managed to feel urgently contemporary and yet simultaneously timeless.”

Gluck was awarded a U.S. Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her poetry collection “The Wild Iris,” with the title poem touching on suffering and redolent with imagery of the natural world. She was Poet Laureate of the United States in 2003-04, and won the U.S. National Book Award for her collection “Faithful and Virtuous Night” six years ago.

In 2015, then-President Barack Obama honored Gluck with the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, saying her “probing poems capture the quiet drama of nature and the quiet emotions of everyday people.”

Sourced from Reuters, edited for brevity