American poet Louise Gluck wins Nobel Literature Prize

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, May 24, 2024

American poet Louise Gluck wins Nobel Literature Prize
Louise Gluck's books are on display during the announcement of the 2020 Nobel Prize in literature at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on October 8, 2020. US author Louise Gluck on October 8, 2020 won the 2020 Nobel Literature Prize, the Swedish Academy said. Henrik MONTGOMERY / TT News Agency / AFP.

by Pia Ohlin

STOCKHOLM (AFP).- American poet Louise Gluck won the 2020 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, an unexpected choice known for themes of childhood and family life that draw inspiration from myths and classical motifs.

Gluck, 77, was honoured "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal," the Academy said.

She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection "The Wild Iris" and the National Book Award for her latest collection, "Faithful and Virtuous Night", in 2014.

The pick came as a surprise to the poet herself, who told news agency TT that she didn't expect the Academy would've considered her.

"No. I mean I'm a white American lyric poet. And I thought well maybe in a different century, but not now," she said.

Gluck was not seen as a favourite for the Nobel in the run-up to Thursday's announcement -- though betting sites' odds on her reportedly plunged just before Thursday's announcement.

The chair of the Academy's Nobel committee, Anders Olsson, lamented that she was not more well-known, "at least outside the US' borders", and had not been translated into many other languages.

Gluck was the US Poet Laureate in 2003-2004.

She is the fourth woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize in the past decade -- after Olga Tokarczuk, Svetlana Alexievich and Alice Munro -- and only the 16th since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.

A professor of English at Yale University, Gluck "seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works," the Academy said in its prize citation.

"The voices of Dido, Persephone, and Eurydice -- the abandoned, the punished, the betrayed -- are masks for a self in transformation, as personal as it is universally valid."

Her work is known for its emotional intensity, often reflecting on her own personal experiences, modern life and nature.

Her collections "The Triumph of Achilles" (1985) and "Ararat" (1990) address "almost brutally straightforward images of painful family relations", the jury said, noting that her use of a "deceptively natural tone is striking", with "no trace of poetic ornament."

Gluck is also a "poet of radical change and rebirth", her work often marked by "humour and biting wit", the jury added. In her poem "Snowdrops", she describes the miraculous return of life after winter.

Her 2006 collection "Averno" was a "masterly collection, a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone's descent into Hell in the captivity of Hades, the god of death," the Academy said.

TS Eliot, John Keats, William Blake and Emily Dickinson are among the poets who have influenced her work.

Born in New York City into a Hungarian Jewish family, Gluck starting reading and writing poetry as a child, encouraged by her father, who invented the X-Acto Knife but had a penchant for writing.

She developed anorexia while in high school, and decided to forego full-time college in order to focus on her rehabilitation and therapy.

In a 2012 interview, she credited psychoanalysis with teaching her how to think. She described writing poetry as "often a torment, a place of suffering, harrowing" before "a kind of tranquility" sets in after having completed a piece.

Ceremony cancelled
This year's prize to Gluck was seen as largely uncontroversial.

Last year, the Swedish Academy gave the nod to Austrian novelist Peter Handke which unleashed a flood of criticism, as many wondered how it could award a writer known for supporting Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in the Balkan wars and playing down his army's atrocities.

The Academy defended that choice as being made solely on literary merit without political considerations.

The Nobel Prize comes with a medal and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million).

Winners normally receive their Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, but the pandemic means it has been replaced by a televised ceremony showing the laureates receiving their awards in their home countries.

Gluck said she was "very sad" the formal ceremony had been cancelled even if she prefers to stay out of the limelight.

"The idea of giving a speech is not my happiest thought, but it would have been such a rare adventure for me," she told TT.

So far this year, four women have won Nobel prizes, closing in on 2009's record of five female laureates.

The other three are Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the US who shared the chemistry prize on Wednesday, and Andrea Ghez of the US who shared the physics prize with two male colleagues on Tuesday.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 9, 2020

Exploring the Traditions of Antique Oriental Rug Weaving

A trove of Basquiat drawings in a French village? Experts scoff

The artist John Newman says a fake check scam cost him $12,000

Guggenheim's top curator is out as inquiry into Basquiat show ends

American poet Louise Gluck wins Nobel Literature Prize

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for your booze stash

Amy Sillman's breakthrough moment is here

Devastation inside Karabakh church hit by rocket

The Met acquires commissioned works by Cree artist Kent Monkman

Anti-Semitic ex-mayor becomes magnet for Vienna statue protests

'Pressing Issues' at Krannert Art Museum shows WPA printmakers' thoughts on social justice

Iran's Shajarian, iconic singer often at odds with authorities, dies

The Glory of Prussia: The renowned collection of Gerhard Drewko, Berlin, comes under the hammer

A masterpiece by Pierre Soulages offered in Christie's Paris Avant-Garde sale

More than 30 new acquisitions go on view in a pandemic-inspired change of plans

Costa Rica converts island prison into tourist attraction

Maurice Edwards, busy figure in theater and music, dies at 97

Christie's October 20th Century Week totals $387.2 million in New York

A choir finds a way to sing. Just ignore the steering wheel.

Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio awarded film restoration grant

Ciara Phillips is the winner of the Queen Sonja Print Award 2020

Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., named Director and CEO of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Phillips announces selling exhibition curated by Vito Schnabel

Maynard Solomon, provocative biographer of composers, dies at 90

Solo Female Travel in Nepal

Artistic Exhibitions Preserving Global Crisis in Portraits

ASAP AIR A/C and Heating Offering Quick and Affordable HVAC Repair Services in Houston

Police Department in Winter Haven Finds 47 Pounds of Cannabis in Vehicle

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful