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American poet Louise Gluck wins Nobel for literature

American poet Louise Gluck has won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”, the Swedish Academy said on Thursday.

Academy Permanent Secretary Mats Malm said Gluck was “surprised and happy” at the news despite receiving it in the early morning North American time.

A professor at Yale University, Gluck, 77, made her debut in 1968 with “Firstborn”, and is seen as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature.

Her poetry is characterised by “a striving for clarity”, the Academy said, with a focus on childhood, family life, and close relationships between parents and siblings. “In her poems, the self listens for what is left of its dreams and delusions,” the Academy said.