Winter Recipes From the Collective: Poems; Louise Gluck
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The 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück's thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient.
Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrument to make itself heard, dolente, its line sustained, carried, and then taken up by the next instrument, spirited, animoso, while at the same time being large enough to contain a whole lifetime, the inconceivable gifts and losses of old age, the little princesses rattling in the back of a car, an abandoned passport, the ingredients of an invigorating winter sandwich, a sister's death, the joyful presence of the sun, its brightness measured by the darkness it casts.
"Some of you will know what I mean," the poet says, by which she means, some of you will follow me. Hers is the sustaining presence, the voice containing all our lifetimes, "all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last." This magnificent book couldn't have been written by anyone else, nor could it have been written by the poet at any other time in her life.
October 19, 2021
American poet Louise Elisabeth Glück served as poet laureate of the United States from 2003 to 2004.
Parents of Hungarian Jewish heritage reared her on Long Island. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and later Columbia University.
She 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 William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America; Ararat (1990), which received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress. She also published a collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction.
In 2001, Yale University awarded Louise Glück 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 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 for her collection, The Wild Iris . Glück is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award ( Triumph of Achilles ), the Academy of American Poet's Prize ( Firstborn ), as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anniversary Medal (2000), and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2020, Glück was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
Glück also worked as a senior lecturer in English at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, served as a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa and taught at Goddard College in Vermont. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches as the Rosencranz writer in residence at Yale University and in the creative writing program of Boston University.