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Skidmore honorary degree recipient wins Nobel Prize in Literature

October 8, 2020

American poet Louise Gluck, a Skidmore College honorary degree recipient and a regular participant in the New York State Summer Writers Institute for more than three decades, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.  

The Nobel committee announced the award for Gluck at a news conference Thursday. 

Gluck delivered the College’s annual Frances Steloff Lecture in 1995 and received an honorary degree from the College. She has participated in nearly every one of the 34 summer sessions of the New York State Summer Writers institute, which is hosted by Skidmore each year.  

In addition, she has contributed more than a dozen poems to Salmagundi, a quarterly magazine of politics, culture, literature and the arts published at the College. 

“The award this year is an especially wonderful thing for American poetry,” said Robert Boyers, Salmagundi editor and professor of English. 

Gluck joins a list of other Steloff speakers to receive the Nobel Prize: Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, Saul Bellow, Mario Vargas Llosa and Seamus Heaney. 

Gluck, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her collection “The Wild Iris” in 1993, was U.S. poet laureate 2003-2004. Her most recent book, “Faithful and Virtuous Night,” published in 2014, won a National Book Award. 

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