Famous for her first book, she was an assistant editor at Vogue and worked in advertising for TAG Heuer, Rolls-Royce and Red Bull. She won the Pulitzer for criticism in 2002 and the literary prize for poetry in 2013, but it was her first book, The Big Screen, published in 1976, that won her most attention, and for good reason. Glück’s fascination with the mass media and how artists approach their own medium — they use the camera to create images — is bracing, bold and unflinching. (The 73-year-old author now lives in Jerusalem.) Glück’s other books include Brutus and Pharaohs and the Millennium. After Auschwitz, she compiled her work into a book of stories, Dreams from the Dead, in 2004. You can view several of Glück’s poems on Google Play here.
Louise Glück addresses Berlin’s historic Dienstplatz in 1986, just after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Getty Images
Glück once told an interviewer that her poetry arose “from whatever happened to me in my day-to-day living. I am interested in the collision of art and ordinary life and in the contradictions that exist between the two.” As often happens with Nobel winners, the form in which she chose to express her thoughts was often unorthodox, too. Her poems are often complex, controversial and riveting. In “The Watch,” she writes that “Love has broke into the sky, but love has not broken through.” “This Is the Perfect Place,” perhaps her most beautiful poem, explores the quality of an island and its relationship to the ocean as far as our need to keep love close, here and now.
Louise Glück reads from her work for an interview on her 54th birthday with the BBC. Karel Sroubek for BBC News