2020 Nobel Prize: Poet Louise Glück awarded prize in Literature

Image Source: nobelprize.org

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 was awarded to the celebrated American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

Over her exemplary career spanning six decades, Gluck has written numerous poetry collections, making her debut with the book ‘Firstborn’ in 1968. Her works include ‘The Wild Iris,’ for which she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Her most recent collection was ‘Faithful and Virtuous Night’ published in 2014.

However, her achievements and accolades do not end there. She was appointed the US poet laureate in 2003, and was also awarded the National Humanities Medal by the former US president Barack Obama in 2016.

Born in 1943 in New York, Glück is a professor of English at Yale University in Connecticut. Her poetry conventionally focusses on themes of childhood and challenges in dealing with family relationships.

Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel committee says Glück’s voice “is candid and uncompromising and signals that this poet wants to be understood. She has humour and biting wit.

“Even if her autobiographical background is significant in her works, she is not to be regarded as a confessional poet. She seeks universality … Three characteristics unite to reoccur in her works: the topic of family life, an austere but also playful intelligence, and a refined sense of composition.”

Glück, who currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will receive 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) for the award. The announcement was made by Mats Malm, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in Stockholm.

In winning the award, Gluck became the 16th woman ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The other women to have been bestowed this honour are:
Selma Lagerlof, 1909
Grazia Deledda, 1926
Sigrid Undset, 1928
Pearl Buck, 1938
Gabriela Mistral, 1945
Nelly Sachs, 1966
Nadine Gordimer, 1991
Toni Morrison, 1993
Wislawa Szymborska, 1996
Elfriede Jelinek, 2004
Doris Lessing, 2007
Herta Muller, 2009
Alice Munro, 2013
Svetlana Alexievich, 2015
Olga Tokarczuk, 2018

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