Louise Glück

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Louise Glück
Born Louise Elisabeth Glück
(1943-04-22) April 22, 1943 (age 72)
New York City, New York, USA
Occupation Poet
Nationality United States
Alma mater Columbia University
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1993)
Bollingen Prize in Poetry (2001)
US Poet Laureate (2003–2004)

Louise Elisabeth Glück (born April 22, 1943) is an American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000.[1] Gluck has openly aligned herself to the school of Objectivist poets to which other poets like Louis Zukofsky, Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen and Carl Rakosi belong. The Objectivist poet, as defined by Zukofsky, strives to "treat poems as an object, and to emphasise sincerity, intelligence and the poet’s ability to look clearly at the world" by exploiting the resonances of small everyday words.[2] In one of her essays in Proof and Theories praising George Oppen, Glück states her partiality towards any kind of poetry that "approaches silence and verges on disappearance."[3] Tony Hoagland, a literary critic and contemporary poet, describes Glück’s poetic ability, as one that lies in the creation of terse and condensed dramatic forces.[4] Critic Daniel Morris in "Dedication to Hunger: The Poetry of Louis Glück" develops the relation between economy of language and the economy of flesh through themes of starvation of the body in Glück’s poetics. Poets like Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti have also demonstrated this poetics of "anorexia minimalism" in language. This behaviour can be understood through the patriarchal restrictions set upon the female where self-starvation and renunciation becomes a form of protest.[5] In an article in the Women’s Review of Books, Donna Krolick Hollenberg mentions that the use of "repeated negatives remind us that Glück is a practised poet of the negative way." ("Negative Capability" was explained by John Keats as the state “when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.”[6]


Early life[edit]

Louise Glück was born in New York City of Hungarian Jewish heritage. She grew up on Long Island. Her father, Daniel, an immigrant from Hungary, helped invent and market the X-Acto Knife.[7] Glück graduated in 1961 from George W. Hewlett High School, in Hewlett, New York. She went on to attend Sarah Lawrence College and later Columbia University; however, she did not graduate from either of them.[8]


Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris. Glück is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award (Triumph of Achilles), the Academy of American Poet's Prize (Firstborn), as well as numerous Guggenheim fellowships. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was previously a Senior Lecturer in English at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Glück currently teaches at Yale University, where she is the Rosencranz Writer in Residence, and in the Creative Writing Program of Boston University. She has also been a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa and taught at Goddard College in Vermont.[9]

Glück is the author of twelve books of poetry, including: A Village Life (2009); Averno (2006), which was a finalist for The National Book Award; The Seven Ages (2001); Vita Nova (1999), which was awarded The New Yorker's Book Award in Poetry; Meadowlands (1996); The Wild Iris (1992), which received the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award; Ararat (1990), which received the Library of Congress's Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry; and The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Poetry Society of America's Melville Kane Award. The First Four Books collects her early poetry.

Glück has also published a collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Sarabande Books published in chapbook form a new, six-part poem, October, in 2004. In 2001 Yale University awarded Louise Glück its Bollingen Prize in Poetry, given biennially for a poet's lifetime achievement in his or her art. Her other honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Sara Teasdale Memorial Prize (Wellesley, 1986), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anniversary Medal (2000), and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. "A Village Life" (2009) has been nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize. The latest collection, Faithful and Virtuous Night, was published in September 2014 and won the National Book Award for Poetry.[10]

She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1999 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2003 she was named as judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and served in that position through 2010. Glück was appointed the US Poet Laureate from 2003–2004, succeeding Billy Collins.

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Firstborn (1968)
  • The House on Marshland (1975)
  • The Garden (1976)
  • Descending Figure (1980)
  • The Triumph of Achilles (1985)
  • Ararat (Ecco Press, 1990)
  • The Wild Iris (1992)
  • Mock Orange (1993)
  • The First Four Books of Poems (1995)
  • Meadowlands (1997)
  • "Telemachus' Guilt"
  • Vita Nova (1999)
  • The Seven Ages (2001)
  • Averno (2006) Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • A Village Life (2009) (shortlisted for the 2010 International Griffin Poetry Prize) Farrar, Straus, Giroux
  • Poems: 1962-2012, Farrar, Straus, Giroux
  • Faithful and Virtuous Night, Farrar, Straus, Giroux (2014)
  • Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994)


  1. ^ "Former Poet Laureate Louise Glück". Library of Congress. 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/louis-zukofsky
  3. ^ Louise Glück,Proof and Theories: Essays On Poetry,The Ecco Press, 1994, 29
  4. ^ Tony Hoagland, Three Tenors: Glück, Hass, Pinsky, and the Deployment of Talent, American Poetry Review, 32:4, 2003
  5. ^ Daniel Morris, Poetry of Louise Glück: A Thematic Introduction, University of Missouri Press,2006.
  6. ^ Donna Hollenberg, A Village Life by Louise Glück, The Women’s Review of Books, 2010.)
  7. ^ PostClassic
  8. ^ “Louise Glück (b. 1943)”. Columbia Granger's World of Poetry Online. http://www.columbiagrangers.org (accessed April 12, 2012).
  9. ^ http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/art-news/2010/04/13/gluck-fuses-poetry-teaching-style/
  10. ^ "Louise Glück Wins 2014 National Book Award in Poetry". 
  11. ^ "Louise Glück Wins 2014 National Book Award in Poetry". 
  12. ^ Staff writer (April 19, 2013). "Announcing the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners". LA Times. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]