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Essays on Poetry
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (208 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2021)
The probing essays collected in American Originality scrutinise the terms we use to think about recent American poetry, its antecedents (not just Whitman and Dickinson but Ovid, Rilke, Thomas Mann, Keats) and its future, questioning how we distinguish between work that is unique and work that is original, carefully delineating the allure of both 'shared traditions' and 'the cult of illogic'. Attentive always to risk and danger, Louise Glück illuminates how the poet at work moves between panic and gratitude, agony and resolution.
Essays on specific writers and on the larger themes of American literature introduce the terms by which she reads and celebrates ten younger poets whose work she has advocated. Studded with brilliant insights into her own practice and the work of her contemporaries, this is an essential book for any interested reader of new poetry.
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)
'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
Praise for Louise Glück '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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