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Louise Glück Portrait

Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, Louise Glück was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia. She lives in Plainfield, Vermont, but has taught at a number of schools, including Columbia University and Williams College. Glück's 1994 volume of essays, Proofs and Theories, includes remarks on the autobiographical overtones of a number of her early poems, which were often dark portraits of family and childhood. Those poems sometimes opted to transform personal experience by integrating it with mythic allusions, a technique given a perhaps more witty and ambitious realization in The Meadowlands (1996), a book-length poem sequence from which eight of the poems here are taken. The Meadowlands chronicles a contemporary marriage in crisis with characters taken from Homer's Odyssey, including Odysseus's wife, Penelope, and the witch Circe, who turned Odysseus's crew into animals and delayed him on his return voyage to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Indeed, it is simultaneously a rereading of the classical text and a contemporary story; neither has absolute priority. The fusion of the two perspectives lets her speakers at once be oracular and ordinary. Also see her Collected Poems (2012).