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A Few Facts about Louise Glück – the 2020 Winner of the Nobel Literature Prize

American poet Louise Gluck won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”- as stated by the Swedish Academy a few months ago.

Such an introduction certainly warrants a few ‘did-you-knows’ about the American poet.

  1. Born on 22 April, 1943 in New York City, United States of America, Louise Glück debuted as a writer in 1968 with her first poetry collection ‘Firstborn’. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  2. Glück is the 117th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was started in 1901. And she is the 16th woman to have won the prestigious award.
  3. Apart from the Nobel Prize in Literature, Louise Glück has also won notable awards like Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 and the National Book Award in 2014, among others. She was also the US Poet Laureate from 2003–2004.
  4. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her poetry collection ‘The Wild Iris’ (1992); in one of her poems ‘Snowdrops’, she describes the magical return of life after a cold and deadly winter. Gluck also won the National Book Award in 2014 for ‘Faithful and Virtuous Night’.
  5. Louise Glück has published 12 poetry collections and some essays. Some of her most acclaimed works include: ‘The Triumph of Achilles’ (1985), ‘The Wild Iris’ (1992), ‘Averno’ (2006), ‘Faithful and Virtuous Night’ (2014) among others.
  6. Apart from being a poet and essayist, Louise Glück works as a professor of English at Yale University, Connecticut.
  7. Elaborating on her works, a statement on the Nobel Prize’s website reads, ‘Childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings, is a thematic that has remained central with her. In her poems, the self listens for what is left of its dreams and delusions, and nobody can be harder than she in confronting the illusions of the self. But even if Glück would never deny the significance of the autobiographical background, she is not to be regarded as a confessional poet. Glück seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works.’

(Article extracted from online newspaper with minor alterations to both headline and body)

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