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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Gluck appointed US poet laureate
Louise Gluck
Ms Gluck is best-known for her collection The Wild Iris
Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Gluck will be the next US poet laureate, it has been announced.

The New York-born writer has published nine volumes of poetry, and in 1993 picked up the Pulitzer award for her collection The Wild Iris.

She will hold the post for one year and concentrate on promoting young poets and poetry contests.

Ms Gluck, 60, said her first undertaking in her new position was "to get over being surprised".

She has been an English professor at Williams College in Massachusetts for the past 20 years, and lives in Cambridge, near Boston.

"Her prize-winning poetry and her great interest in young poets will enliven the poet laureate's office," Librarian of Congress James H Billington said at her appointment on Thursday.

Ms Gluck studied at Columbia University in New York and has a law degree from Williams College. Her latest collection of poetry, October, is to be released next year.

Loss and isolation

"The truth, on the page, need not have been lived. It is, instead, all that can be envisioned," Ms Gluck wrote in 1994.

Her poems deal with women's problems, and loss and isolation are recurring themes.

Ms Gluck said she did not plan to set up any special programmes during her year as poet laureate.

The current laureate, Billy Collins, has set up a web site to deliver a poem a day for high school students in the US. Ms Gluck instead wants to fund a project to record America's favourite poems.

Previous poet laureates include Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks and Rita Dove. The post carries a wage of $35,000 (22,400) and an office at the Library of Congress at Washington DC.

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