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Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2006)
Behind the trees, at sunset, it is as though a great fire
is burning between two mountains
so that the snow on the highest precipice
seems, for a moment, to be burning also
Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020
Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the Romans as the entrance to the underworld. That place gives its name to Louise Gluck’s new collection: in a landscape turned irretrievably to winter it is both passageway between worlds and an impassable barrier. The book proceeds as a sequence, an extended lamentation, its long restless poems no less spellbinding for being without conventional resolution or consolation, no less ravishing for being savage and grief-stricken.
Awards won by Louise Glück Short-listed, 2014 Forward Prize for Best Collection (Faithful and Virtuous Night) Short-listed, 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize (Faithful and Virtuous Night) Winner, 1993 Pulitzer Prize (The Wild Iris)
'Her writing's emotional and rhetorical intensity are beyond dispute. Not once in six books has she wavered from a formal seriousness, an unhurried sense of control and a starkness of expression that, like a scalpel, slices the mist dwelling between hope and pain.'
Washington Post 'Gluck stands at the centre of time and speaks, not with raw emotion or linguistic abandon, but with the ageless urgency of questions about the soul.'
Partisan Review Praise for Louise Glück 'Gluck's essays are delicate, tactful, self-aware and wry; her sense of humour is so understated that you might miss it if you think of her solely as a poet of tenacity and autumnal smokiness... Reading American Originality alongside her first essay collection, Proofs and Theories (1994), a portrait emerges of a wilful, embattled child who earned her stern serenity not only through loss but also through that miraculous state of grace that poetry can provide'
Ange Mlinko, Literary Review
'In this collection of sharply focussed and insightful essays one unifying theme emerges. Despite all the fads and fashions, the dead ends and new waves of poetry one thing survives, and that as she so vividly reminds us, is poetry'
Roger Bloor, The Alchemy Spoon
'Characteristically sure-footed, Glück speaks to our time in a voice that is onstage, but heard from the wings.'
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