Louise Glück was an American poet and essayist whose award-winning body of work has been widely recognized for its austere beauty. Critics have praised the precision of Glück’s language and her minute control of rhythm and diction. They’ve also celebrated the way her poems often develop complex themes with the seeming ease of ordinary speech. Born in 1943, Glück grew up in New York City and attended poetry workshops at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. However, she didn’t receive a degree from either institution, since at the time she prioritized her recovery from anorexia over full-time education.

Just two years after attending the Columbia workshop, Glück published her first collection, Firstborn (1968). Though critics immediately recognized her promise as a poet, it wasn’t until her follow-up, The House of Marshland (1975), that Glück began to receive broader recognition for her work. These early collections feature poems about family relationships and center themes related to disappointment, rejection, loneliness, and isolation. Later collections developed these themes further, often while drawing on Greek and Roman mythology. Glück won many prestigious awards for her poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize for her 1992 collection, The Wild Iris, and the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Louise Glück died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 13, 2023, at the age of 80.