Her 'Unmistakable' Voice Just Earned Her a Nobel

American poet Louise Glueck wins Nobel Prize in Literature
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2020 6:21 AM CDT
US Poet Louise Glueck Wins Nobel for Literature
In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo, President Obama embraces poet Louise Glueck before awarding her the 2015 National Humanities Medal during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded Thursday after several years of controversy and scandal for the world's preeminent literary accolade. American poet Louise Glueck was the recipient of the $1.1 million prize "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal," per the Nobel Prize Twitter feed. Glueck, an English professor at Yale, made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn and has since published 12 poetry collections, as well as volumes of essays on poetry, per a release. Her latest collection is 2014's Faithful and Virtuous Night. Glueck "seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works," the prize's feed notes. Her works are "characterized by a striving for clarity," and "childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings, is a thematic that has remained central with her."

In 2018 the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, the secretive body that chooses the winners, and sparked a mass exodus of members, per the AP. After the academy revamped itself in a bid to regain the trust of the Nobel Foundation, two laureates were named last year, with the 2018 prize going to Poland's Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 award to Austria's Peter Handke. Handke's prize caused a storm of protest. A strong supporter of the Serbs during the 1990s Balkan wars, he's been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes. Several countries, including Albania, Bosnia, and Turkey, boycotted the Nobel awards ceremony in protest, and a member of the committee that nominates candidates for the literature prize resigned. Coming Friday: the Nobel Peace Prize.

(More Nobel Prize for Literature stories.)

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