Louise Gluck is the author of more than a dozen books of poems (Averno, A Village Life) and essay collections (American Originality). Her many awards include the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris, the National Book Award for Poetry for Faithful and Virtuous Night and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Triumph of Achilles. She teaches at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"One reason Gluck has proved so central to American poetry, for five decades now, lies in her remarkable talent for recapturing wonder. For all her disabused austerity, she remains a great poet of renewal. This is not a matter of optimism, or 'recovery' in the conventional sense. Rather, for Gluck and the speakers in her poems, mere survival appears a nearly incredible wonder . . . What makes Gluck's latest collection, Faithful and Virtuous Night, so powerful is the inventiveness with which the poet responds not only to her own mortality, but to the entirely new vantage on the world that her predicament affords. This book follows the widely acclaimed publication in 2012 of Gluck's Poems 1962-2012. Yet no one could accuse this poet of relaxing into the role of the senior laureate reproducing a signature style. Reading these poems, one feels that all the resources Gluck has developed up until now have been brought to bear, and yet, even more impressively, that she has demanded of herself new and surprising methods . . . This is what makes Faithful and Virtuous Night so moving: Even as she admits that our forms of knowledge, the stories with which we understand the world and ourselves, are contingent and flawed, Gluck suggests such stories are no less necessary or real. There's not a hint of easy consolation, much less any 'triumph of the human spirit' in this book. But neither does the abiding darkness entail despair . . . The high art and deep pleasure of Faithful and Virtuous Night derive from . . . moments of startling presence, when everyday facts turn magical, when disenchantment itself leads to renewed enchantment. It is a great good fortune to hold these poems in hand." --Peter Campion, The New York Times Book Review "Shifting between prosaic passages and her more familiar lyric investigations of family, loss, and time's tide, Gluck's new collection of poems finds cinematic scope through a deeply personal lens. Moving and rich, her mastery of what she knows is matched only by her ease with the uncertain. 'A word drops into the mist, ' she writes, 'like a child's ball into high grass.'" --Michael Andor Brodeur, Boston Globe "Louise Gluck just keeps getting better. One of our finest contemporary poets--as her collected poems showed two years ago--she has changed her aesthetic strategy over the years, moving away from adaptations of Greek and Roman myths toward a new oracular tone of her own. The result is brilliant and haunting, captivating and mysterious, but, as always, couched in spare, emotionally charged diction . . . In Faithful and Virtuous Night, her 13th collection, Gluck writes with a timeless quality, perched on the edge of expectation, awaiting a revelation through the mist, a signal in the capacious night. Her richness of thought and restrained, melancholy voice call forth the rhythms of the broken heart: beating valiantly in quiet desolation. She is the lost pilgrim, unsure whether the still, small pinnacle of her experience is a peak or plateau." --Arlice Davenport, Wichita Eagle