The Winter Recipes
Louise Glück’s thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient. Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrument to make itself heard, dolente, its line sustained, carried, and then taken up by the next instrument, spirited, animoso, while at the same time being large enough to contain a whole lifetime, the inconceivable gifts and losses of old age, the little princesses rattling in the back of a car, an abandoned passport, the ingredients of an invigorating winter sandwich, a sister’s death, the joyful presence of the sun, its brightness measured by the darkness it casts.
“Some of you will know what I mean,” the poet says, by which she means, some of you will follow me. Hers is the sustaining presence, the voice containing all our lifetimes, “all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last.” This magnificent book couldn’t have been written by anyone else, nor could it have been written by the poet at any other time in her life.
About the Author
Louise Glück is one of America’s finest contemporary poets. In 2020 Louise Glück has become the first American woman to win the Nobel prize for literature in 27 years, cited for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”. Glück is the 16th woman to win the Nobel, and the first American woman since Toni Morrison took the prize in 1993. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books. Stephen Dobyns, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said “no American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature.” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing.” Evocative and lyrically graceful, Glück’s work is noted for its emotional intensity and technical precision. Glück’s considerable accomplishments as a poet are apparent in her 2013 collected works, Poems: 1962-2012. She received the 2014 National Book Award for her most recent collection of poems, Faithful and Virtuous Night, and in 2015 received the National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her latest book of essays is titled American Originality.