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Louise Glück is a poet whose work has been described as technically precise, sensitive, insightful and gripping.
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From her first book of poetry, Firstborn, through her more mature work, Glück has become internationally recognized as a very skilled, perceptive author who pulls the reader into her poetry and shares the poetic experience equally with her audience. Among numerous honors, Glück was the recipient of National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1985 and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993.
Poet. Born April 22, 1943, in New York, New York. Louise Glück (surname pronounced Glick) creates verse that has been described as technically precise, sensitive, insightful, and gripping. In her work, Glück freely shares her most intimate thoughts on such commonly shared human experiences as love, family, relationships, and death. "Glück demands a reader's attention and commands his respect," states R. D. Spector in the Saturday Review. "Glück's poetry is intimate, familial, and what Edwin Muir has called the fable, the archetypal," adds Contemporary Women Poets contributor James K. Robinson. Within her work can be discerned the influences of poets Stanley Kunitz, with whom Glück studied while attending Columbia University in the mid-1960s, and the early work of Robert Lowell; shadows cast by the confessional poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton also haunt her earliest poetry.
From her first book of poetry, Firstborn, through her more mature work, Glück has become internationally recognized as a very skilled, yet perceptive author who pulls the reader into her poetry and shares the poetic experience equally with her audience. Helen Vendler comments in her New Republic review of Glück's second book, 1975's The House on Marshland, that "Glück's cryptic narratives invite our participation: we must, according to the case, fill out the story, substitute ourselves for the fictive personages, invent a scenario from which the speaker can utter her lines, decode the import, 'solve' the allegory. Or such is our first impulse. Later, I think, . . . we read the poem, instead, as a truth complete within its own terms, reflecting some one of the innumerable configurations into which experience falls."
For admirers of Glück's work, the poetry in books such as, The House on Marshland, The Garden, Descending Figure, The Triumph of Achilles, Ararat, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Wild Iris take readers on an inner journey by exploring their deepest, most intimate feelings. "Glück has a gift for getting the reader to imagine with her, drawing on the power of her audience to be amazed," observes Anna Wooten in the American Poetry Review.
One reason reviewers cite for Glück's seemingly unfailing ability to capture her reader's attention is her expertise at creating poetry that many people can understand, relate to, and experience intensely and completely. Her poetic voice is uniquely distinctive and her language is deceptively straightforward. In her review of Glück's The Triumph of Achilles Wendy Lesser notes in the Washington Post Book World: "'Direct' is the operative word here: Glück's language is staunchly straightforward, remarkably close to the diction of ordinary speech.
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