Born in New York City on April 22, 1943, Louise Glück is the daughter of Daniel and Beatrice Glück. Their first daughter died before Louise was born, an event that would affect the poet profoundly and has influenced the themes of loss and grief in her works. Another daughter was born after Louise’s birth.
Glück had a solid knowledge of the Greek myths by the age of three. Her father, who wanted to be a writer but eventually decided to go into business with his brother-in-law, and her mother, who admired creative gifts and appreciated the arts, encouraged Glück and her sister to develop any inclinations or talents they had in such areas.
As an adolescent Glück developed anorexia nervosa, a condition she has described as a manifestation of the ravenous need for control and an independent self as well as a hunger for praise. Her anorexia eventually became so severe that she withdrew from high school in her last year to begin psychoanalytic sessions, which would last seven years.
Having graduated from Long Island’s Hewlett High School in 1961 and attended Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, in 1962, Glück studied at Columbia University during 1963-1966 and 1967-1968. She enrolled in a poetry workshop where poet and teacher Stanley Kunitz significantly influenced her. In 1966 Glück won the Academy of American Poets Prize, and in 1967, the same year that she married Charles Hertz, Jr., a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. In 1968 Glück’s first book, Firstborn, was published, followed by her receipt of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1969.
In 1970, Glück was a visiting teacher at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. This was followed by a...
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