Document Type




Rights Management

Rhode Island College


Contemporary American poet Louise Glück has published twelve books of poetry spanning almost fifty years from Firstborn in 1968 to Faithful and Virtuous Night in 2014, as well as one critically-acclaimed book of essays. Her work has received prestigious awards such as the Wallace Stevens Award (2008), the Pulitzer Prize (2003), and the Bollingen Prize (2001), and she was appointed the twelfth United States Poet Laureate in 2003. Glück’s poetry is often anthologized, as in the Vintage Contemporary American Book of Poetry and No More Masks: An Anthology of Twentieth Century American Women Poets, and taught in college classrooms. Despite her prolificacy and critical success, literary scholarship on Glück’s work has been relatively slim. The scholarly attention her work has received repeatedly focuses on the style of her lyric poems, which Elizabeth Dodd has dubbed “personal classicism,” as well as the evolution of her poetic structures from petite, isolated poems to book-length sequences. Another primary focus of scholars is the personal philosophy that pervades Glück’s work—best encapsulated in the poem title “Dedication to Hunger”—which has led critics to interpret her repeated imagery of anorexia, hunger, and self-denial as metaphors for artistic creativity. Within this already sparse tradition of criticism, there is an even smaller selection of feminist scholarship on Glück. As a result, portions of her oeuvre have been ignored or only occasionally considered.