Here’s today’s poet, Louise Glück.
Louise Elisabeth Glück (born April 22, 1943) is an American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000. She won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2014 for Faithful and Virtuous Night.
Louise Glück was born in New York City of Hungarian Jewish heritage. She grew up on Long Island. Her father, Daniel, an immigrant from Hungary, helped invent and market the X-Acto Knife. Due to anorexia, Glück left George W. Hewlett High School, in Hewlett, New York, before graduating and began psychoanalysis, which, she said, taught her how to think. She briefly attended Sarah Lawrence College but once again withdrew because of her anorexia. Glück later attended, but did not graduate from, Columbia University. She studied writing with Leonie Adams and then with Stanley Kunitz, who was a significant mentor in her development as a poet.
Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris. Her latest collection, Faithful and Virtuous Night, was published in September 2014 and won the National Book Award for Poetry. She was the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award (Triumph of Achilles), the Academy of American Poets Prize (Firstborn), and numerous Guggenheim fellowships. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was previously a Senior Lecturer in English at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Glück currently teaches at Yale University, where she is the Rosencranz Writer in Residence, and in the Creative Writing Program of Boston University. She has also been a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa and taught at Goddard College in Vermont.
Glück is the author of twelve books of poetry, including A Village Life (2009); Averno (2006), which was a finalist for The National Book Award; The Seven Ages (2001); Vita Nova (1999), which was awarded The New Yorker’s Book Award in Poetry; Meadowlands (1996); The Wild Iris (1992), which received the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award; Ararat (1990), which received the Library of Congress’s Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry; and The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Kane Award. The First Four Books of Poems (1999) collects her early poetry.
Glück has also published a collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Sarabande Books published in chapbook form a new, six-part poem, October, in 2004. In 2001, Yale University awarded her its Bollingen Prize in Poetry, given biennially for a poet’s lifetime achievement in his or her art. Her other honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Sara Teasdale Memorial Prize (Wellesley, 1986), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anniversary Medal (2000), and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. “A Village Life” (2009) was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1999 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2003, she was named as a judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and served in that position through 2010. Glück was appointed the US Poet Laureate from 2003–2004, succeeding Billy Collin.
Check out one of my many favs of this incredible poet. I hope you enjoy it as well.
F. M. Laster
“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West
by Louise Glück
You came to the side of the bed
and sat staring at me.
Then you kissed me—I felt
hot wax on my forehead.
I wanted it to leave a mark:
that’s how I knew I loved you.
Because I wanted to be burned, stamped,
to have something in the end—
I drew the gown over my head;
a red flush covered my face and shoulders.
It will run its course, the course of fire,
setting a cold coin on the forehead, between the eyes.
You lay beside me; your hand moved over my face
as though you had felt it also—
you must have known, then, how I wanted you.
We will always know that, you and I.
The proof will be my body.