Louise Glück Wins Literature Nobel. Prepare for a Deluge of Instagram Quotes From Her Poetry

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Louise Glück Wins Literature Nobel. Prepare for a Deluge of Instagram Quotes From Her Poetry

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Like so many awards ceremonies this year, the 2020 Nobel Prize Ceremony was affected by the spectre of the Covid-19 pandemic. With no prize distribution ceremony being held in view of world events, the year’s Nobel Prizes were instead announced, with this year’s winners set to be feted at the 2021 ceremony instead. American poet Louise Glück will be among the attendees then, having won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature for her body of work that spans over 50 years. The Swedish Academy, which determines the Nobel Prize winners, said that Glück was being awarded “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

The Nobel Prize is far from the first prestigious literary award that Glück has won. In 1993, her collection of poems titled The Wild Iris was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Glück was also named as Poet Laureate of the United States during 2003 and 2004.

Her first collection of poems, titled Firstborn, was published in 1968, and in the decades since, Glück’s work has gone on to be featured in many poetry anthologies and become noted for its signature sparseness. In her poems, Glück deals with themes like loss, death, and renewal, while avoiding ethnic, gender, and religious overtones.

The Swedish Academy’s Permanent Secretary, Mats Malm, said that Glück was “surprised and happy” when she received the news. Currently 77 years old, Glück continues to work on her poetry while also serving as a professor at Yale University. News of her winning the Nobel Prize was greeted with universal acclaim, unlike last year’s announcement. In 2019, Austrian Peter Handke won the Nobel Prize for Literature, which led to protests due to his support of Serbian actions during the Balkan wars, and his closeness to former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.

Glück’s victory is a fitting recognition for her decades of creative expression.

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