STOCKHOLM — The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the American poet Louise Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
Glück was formerly the Poet Laureate of the U.S. from 2003 to 2004. According to The New York Times, Glück is the first woman to win the award since 1996.
The prize was awarded Thursday after several years of controversy and scandal for the world's pre-eminent literary accolade.
In 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, the secretive body that chooses the winners.
Two laureates were named last year, with the 2018 prize going to Poland's Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 award to Austria's Peter Handke.
Handke's prize caused a storm of protest because he has been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes.
Other writers who were favored for the award were Kenya's Ngugi Wa Thiong' o, Canadian poet Anne Carson, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, Russian novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Guadeloupe-born writer Maryse Conde.
According to NPR, the 2020 Nobel Prize has a cash prize of about $1.2 million. The awards ceremony this December will be celebrated virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.