American poet Louise Glück was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Thursday, “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” according to the Swedish Academy, per the New York Times. “Louise Glück’s voice is unmistakable,” chair Anders Olsson said at the announcement. “It is candid and uncompromising, and it signals this poet wants to be understood.” The Nobel Prize comes with 10 million Swedish krona or around $1.1 million. Glück’s moving works of poetry include the collection The Wild Iris for which she won a Pulitzer Prize for in 1993 and 2014’s Faithful and Virtuous Night. In 2003, she was named poet laureate of the United States. Glück is the first American female writer to win the award since 1996, and the first American to win since Bob Dylan in 2016. Last year, the academy courted controversy for awarding Austrian author Peter Handke, who has been accused of genocide denial. It also belatedly awarded the 2018 prize to author Olga Tokarczuk after it was postponed due to a scandal that led to the resignation of several board members. The husband of a now-former academy member, Jean-Claude Arnault, was accused of sexual assault and leaking information to place bets on the prize. (He was later sentenced to two years in prison for rape.) Unmarred by controversy, Louise Glück joins a list of prominent novelists, playwrights, and poets dating back to 1901, including Kazuo Ishiguro and Toni Morrison.
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