American poet Louise Glück receives Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

Louise Gluck

After several years of scandals and controversy for the world’s pre-eminent literary accolade, the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to American poetess Louise Glück on Thursday.

The Nobel Laureate made her debut in 1968 with ‘Firstborn’ and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature. To date, she has published twelve collections of poetry and some volumes of essays on poetry.

“The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” the official Twitter feed of the Nobel Prize wrote announcing the results for the 2020 Nobel Prize.

Here are some facts about the poet:

  1. Louise Glück was born in 1943 in New York and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  2. She is a professor of English at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
  3. Glück seeks the entire universe, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works.
  4. The poet is not only engaged by the aberrancies and shifting conditions of life, she is also a poet of radical change and rebirth, where the leap forward is made from a deep sense of loss.
  5. In one of her most lauded collections, ‘The Wild Iris’ (1992) which received the Pulitzer Prize, Gluck describes the miraculous return of life after winter in the poem ‘Snowdrops’.
  6. The voices of Dido, Persephone, and Eurydice – the abandoned, the punished, and the betrayed – are masks for a self in transformation, as personal as it is universally valid.


Back in 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy and sparked a mass exodus of members. Established by Alfred Nobel in 1895, the Nobel Literature Prize is one of six awards that also span peace, physics, chemistry, medicine or psychology, and economic sciences.