American poet Louise Glück has won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, a statement by the Swedish Academy announced Thursday.
Ms Glück, 77, is one of the most celebrated American poets who is also a professor of English at Yale University.
The American poet was lauded “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
She made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn, and “was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature,” the Swedish Academy said in the statement.
She has published 12 collections of poetry and several collections of prose.
But the Swedish Academy said her poetry is “characterized by a striving for clarity—often focusing on childhood and family life, and close relationship with parents and siblings.”
It described her 2006 collection Averno, as “masterly” and “a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone’s descent into hell in the captivity of Hades, the god of death.”
She has previously won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award and a Bollingen Prize.
Between 2003 and 2004, she was the poet laureate of the United States.
The American writer becomes the 16th woman to have ever won the Nobel Prize in Literature, since it was first awarded in 1901.
The award which includes a 10 million Swedish kronor (about US$1.1 million ) prize comes to life again after a hiatus in 2018.
PREMIUM TIMES reported in 2018, how the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, which oversees the prestigious award.
After revamping its image, two laureates were named last year, with the 2018 prize going to Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 award to Austria’s Peter Handke.
However, Mr Handke’s win sparked controversy in literary circles as it was seen as not fitting for one who had supported Serbian war crimes in the ’90s.
Meanwhile, the 2020 award ceremony, which began on Monday, is on its fourth announcement of the six prizes that recognise remarkable achievement in some fields of life.
On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.”
The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Gheza for their research on black holes on Tuesday.
The chemistry prize on Wednesday went to French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American biochemist Jennifer Doudna who were behind a powerful gene-editing tool.
Prizes for outstanding work in the fields of peace and economics would be announced in the coming days.
Africa has so far produced four Nobel laureates in Literature namely: Wole Soyinka of Nigeria (1986); Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt (1988); Nadine Gordimer (1991) and J.M Coetzee (2003), both from South Africa.
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