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Louise Gluck Biography

(1943– ), Firstborn, The House of Marshland, Descending Figures, The Triumph of Achilles, Ararat, The Wild Iris

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellen Gilchrist Biography to Grain

American poet, born in New York City, educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. Like her contemporary Frank Bidart, Louise Gluck is frequently described as a ‘post-confessional’ poet and in her early work the influence of Sylvia Plath is strongly felt, notably in her first published volume, Firstborn (1969). Later volumes, among them The House of Marshland (1975) and Descending Figures (1983), reveal a sharpened, more intensified, if somewhat distanced, treatment of autobiographical experience. In The Triumph of Achilles (1985; National Book Critics Award), arguably her most distinguished collection, she writes with austere starkness about the death of her father, while Ararat (1990) shows a continuing preoccupation with the themes of family and family relationships; later volumes of verse include The Wild Iris (1992) and The First Four Books of Poems (1995). Her Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1992) draws together her critical writings on the art of poetry. Gluck taught at Goddard College in Vermont before taking up a teaching post at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

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