Yale Poets Louise Glück and Henri Cole Win Prestigious Prizes

Two Yale poets — Louise Glück and Henri Cole — have won major prizes from the Academy of American Poets.

Glück, an adjunct professor of English and the Rosencranz Writer in Residence, has won the Wallace Stevens Prize, awarded by the chancellors of the academy, for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.” The prize carries an honorarium of $100,000.

Cole, a lecturer in English who is teaching advanced poetry writing during Glück’s leave of absence this semester, has won the Lenore Marshall Prize, awarded by a panel of judges, for the year’s “outstanding book of poetry” — his “Blackbird and Wolf.” The award carries an honorarium of $25,000.

Glück’s citation, written by Robert Pinsky, reads: “Louise sometimes uses language so plain it can almost seem like someone is speaking to you spontaneously, but it’s always intensely distinguished. There’s always a surprise in Louise’s writing; in every turn, every sentence, every line, something goes somewhere a little different, or very different, from where you thought it would.”

Glück has taught at Yale since 2004 and is one of the country’s most decorated poets. Her poetry collections include “The House on Marshland,” “Descending Figure,” “The Triumph of Achilles,” “Ararat,” “The Wild Iris,” “Meadowlands” and “The First Five Books of Poems.” A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has won the Bollingen Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She served as the U.S. Poet Laureate 2003-2005 and has judged the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition since 2003.

Cole’s citation, written by John Koethe, reads: “Henri Cole has become one of his generation’s most assured and accomplished poets, and ‘Blackbird and Wolf’ is a powerful and masterful book: powerful in the psychological directness of its self-scrutiny, and masterful in its achievement of a poetry so artful it almost seems artless.”

Born in Japan and reared in Virginia, Cole’s other poetry collections include “The Visible Man,” “Middle Earth,” “The Look of Things,” “The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge” and “Marble Queen.” A longtime educator as well as poet, he has taught at Columbia, Harvard, Reed, Brandeis and many other universities. He has won the Berlin Prize from the American Academy at Berlin, the Rome Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship.

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