In Memoriam: Louise Elizabeth Glück, 1943-2023

Louise Glück, the Frederick Iseman Professor in the Practice of Poetry in the department of English at Yale University, who earned the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020, died on October 13 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was 80 years old.

Professor Glück was born in 1943 in New York City, and grew up in the suburb of Woodmere, Long Island. She attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and Columbia University but did not earn a degree. Her first collection of poetry – Firstborn – was rejected 28 times before being accepted for publication by the New American Library in 1968.

Glück, who published 13 collections of poetry, was already regarded as one of America’s best writers when she joined the Yale faculty, in 2004, as the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence. She had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris (Ecco Press, 1993) and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1985 for The Triumph of Achilles (Ecco Press, 1985). She served as the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2003-2004.

“The world knew Louise Glück as a writer of rare talent and insight, a poet of the interior life whose inquiries into the self yielded illuminating poems of expressive beauty,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “But here at Yale, we also knew her as a galvanizing teacher and mentor whose uncommon dedication to her students enriched the entire campus community.”

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