Image: Sigrid Estrada/Poetry Foundation

Louise Glück Bags Nobel Prize for Literature

American poet Louise Glück has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” according to the Swedish Academy.

The poet, a professor of English at Yale University, is the fourth woman to win the award since 2010 and the 16th woman to win the award since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.

Glück, currently based in Massachusetts, was born in New York City in 1943. According to her Poetry Foundation profile, the award-winning writer attended Sarah Lawrence and Columbia University. She is widely considered as America’s most talented contemporary poets.

Glück’s poetry is centered around humanity, death, family, divorce, and loneliness. Her recent works include Faithful and Virtuous Night, part of her collection of 12 poetry books.

The Academy cites her 2006 collection Averno as a “masterly collection, a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone’s descent into Hell in the captivity of Hades, the god of death.”

In 2019 Austrian Peter Handke won the award, and Olga Tokarczuk from Poland won the award for 2018.


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