Louise Glück is the Nobel prize winner, in literature, for 2020
Announcing the award in Stockholm, Mats Malm, the Swedish Academy has chosen the American poet, citing her ‘unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.
The 77-year old poet is the second woman to win the award after the Polish writer Wislawa Szymborska, in 1996.
Glück is also the second American who won the Nobel, since Bob Dylan in 2016. Louise Glück was born in New York City in 1943 and grew up on Long Island. She went to Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University.
Glück is a professor of English at Yale University, she began writing in her teens; her first collection of poetry, Firstborn (1968), was published when she was only 25.
She is considered to be one of the most talented contemporary, America’s ,poets and is known for her poetry’s technical precision, sensitivity, and insight into loneliness, family relationships, divorce, and death. Glück is the author of many successful books of poetry, including Faithful and Virtuous Night which won the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry. The Wild Iris, is her other award-winning book, which received the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award. She has won numerous other prizes for her tremendous books.
In a call with the Nobel Committee after her win was announced, Glück said: ‘My first thought was I won’t have any friends, because most of my friends are writers, but then I thought no, that won’t happen.’
“Her work is like an inner conversation. Maybe she’s talking to herself, maybe she’s talking to us. There’s a kind of irony to it,” said her longtime friend and editor, Jonathan Galassi, the president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. “One thing that’s very constant in her work is that inner voice. She’s always evaluating experience against some ideal that it never matches.” When asked where new readers should start, Gluck said, “I would suggest they don’t read my first book unless they want to feel contempt. But everything after that might be of interest. I like my recent work. Averno would be a place to start, or my last book Faithful and Virtuous Night.”
On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus. Tuesday´s prize for physics honored breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of black holes, and the chemistry prize on Wednesday went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool.
Still to come are prizes for outstanding work in the fields of peace and economics.