One of my favorite living poets, Louise Glück once called me on my cell phone to discuss permission for using a few lines from one of her poems in my novel, The Silence of Trees. I got the call from her as I was walking to the car after grocery shopping, and I got genuinely weak in the knees hearing her say, “Is this Valya Lupescu? This is Louise Glück.”
I had never before nor since had that kind of a reaction to communicating in any fashion with another writer or artist, but her poetry had been so important to me, and her words had taken root in my heart and imagination so deeply since I first read her work back in college in the early 90s. I managed to sit down in the car and have a conversation, my hands only slightly shaking from excitement.
I’m delighted to hear that she was honored last night. Congratulations to Louise Glück for winning the National Book Award for Poetry! In honor of her award, I’m sharing William Giraldi’s wonderful interview with her in Poets & Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/internal_tapestries
“I believe that. I used to be approached in classes by women who felt they shouldn’t have children because children were too distracting, or would eat up the vital energies from which art comes. But you have to live your life if you’re going to do original work. Your work will come out of an authentic life, and if you suppress all of your most passionate impulses in the service of an art that has not yet declared itself, you’re making a terrible mistake. When I was young I led the life I thought writers were supposed to lead, in which you repudiate the world, ostentatiously consecrating all of your energies to the task of making art. I just sat in Provincetown at a desk and it was ghastly—the more I sat there not writing the more I thought that I just hadn’t given up the world enough. After two years of that, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to be a writer. So I took a teaching job in Vermont, though I had spent my life till that point thinking that real poets don’t teach. But I took this job, and the minute I started teaching—the minute I had obligations in the world—I started to write again.” ~Louise Glück, from “Internal Tapestries: A Q&A With Louise Glück” by William Giraldi, Poets & Writers