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Louise Glück, American poet, wins Nobel Prize for Literature

[Oct. 8, 2020: Adela Suliman]



LONDON — American poet Louise Glück won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday for what the judges called "her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."


Glück, 77, was born in New York City and raised on Long Island, the granddaughter of Hungarian Jewish immigrants on her father's side. She is widely considered one of the leading contemporary American poets, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 and named the United States poet laureate in 2003.


She is the first American woman to win the award in 27 years, after the late novelist Toni Morrison in 1993. Glück will take home 10 million Swedish kronor (around $1.1 million) along with a gold medal, courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.


Her accolade was announced in Stockholm by the Swedish Academy, the secretive body made up of 18 members who are elected for life and choose the winners each year.


The academy's permanent secretary, Mats Malm, said Glück's poems were notable for their "austere but also playful intelligence" while being "full of humor and biting wit."


Glück's is renowned in the poetry world for her candid and often painful portrayals of family life, written in a straightforward style that is accessible yet deeply emotive for readers.


Malm described her verse as "unmistakable" and "uncompromising," typified by "brutally straightforward images of painful family relations without a trace of poetic ornament."


He reported that Glück was "surprised and happy" on hearing the news.


Glück is a professor of English at Yale University and attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University.


First published in 1968, she has written a dozen poetry collections, the most recent of which, 2014's "Faithful and Virtuous Night," won the National Book Award. Perhaps her most lauded work came in 1992 with "The Wild Iris," which won the Pulitzer Prize the following year.



This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of NBC News.


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