New York City-born poet Louise Glück was awarded the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” the Swedish Academy said.
Glück, 77, a professor of English at Yale University, is considered one of the best contemporary poets, with her work focusing on themes of childhood and family life.
She is the first female poet since Poland’s Wislawa Szymborska in 1996, and the first American since Bob Dylan in 2016.
Raised on Long Island, Glück graduated from Hewlett High School and made her debut in 1968 with “Firstborn” and “was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature,” the Academy said.
She previously won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection “The Wild Iris” and the National Book Award in 2014.
The Academy, which announced the prize in Stockholm, honored Glück for seeking “the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works.”
It said 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 Nobel Prize comes with an 18 karat green gold medal plated in 24k gold, and check of about $1.1 million.
Glück would normally receive the Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10 — but the in-person ceremony has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will instead be a televised ceremony showing the laureates receiving their awards in their home countries.
In 2018, the Nobel award was postponed amid sex abuse allegations that rocked the Academy — a secret body that chooses the winners — and sparked a mass exodus of members.
Last year, two laureates were named — the 2018 prize went to Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 prize was awarded to Austria’s Peter Handke.
President Trump has received three nominations for the Peace Prize.
With Post wires
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