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Winter Recipes from the Collective
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Hardback (56 pages)
(Due Oct 2021)
In the fifteen poems and sequences in Louise Glück's rapt new collection, Winter Recipes from the Collective, speaker and the reader seem to move, or be moved, in the same channel, their agency suspended as each poem proceeds. The consciousness is looking away from itself and in this looking away it reveals itself most truly, in the hopes (which do not seem illusory) that a story seeds and in the distresses (which might have been avoidable) that it encounters. In 'A Children's Story', we are in a real fairy tale, one in which the girls are princesses capable of so much and yet incapable also, apparently free and yet subject, subjected. 'Everything has ended,' the poem called 'The Sentence' begins, 'And if that is the case / there is no point in beginning / so much as a sentence.' And yet, the poem, the poems continue, sustained as ever by Glück's typically piercing, quizzical scrutinies.
Cut adrift by lovers, teachers, without even, in one sequence, a passport which would free them to move on, the poems are marooned in particular circumstances, observing pasts on the point of vanishing, alert as ever to the daily cycles that persist, and considering a future to which time appears prepared to move on without its human subjects.
The poems are staging posts in a visionary account of the human predicament, stories and fables whose isolation touches readers as the most intimate address.
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)
Praise for Louise Glück 'These essays constitute long-form extensions of Gluck's own poetic concerns... people familiar with Glück's poetry will recognise this hallmark astringency and its attendant whiplash wit'
Dzifa Benson, The Poetry Review
'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
'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 'Characteristically sure-footed, Glück speaks to our time in a voice that is onstage, but heard from the wings.'
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