Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Lisel Mueller, who wrote from Lake County, dies

  • Poet Lisel Mueller, here at her Lake Forest home in 1997, won the Pulitzer Prize that year for her book "Alive Together."

    Poet Lisel Mueller, here at her Lake Forest home in 1997, won the Pulitzer Prize that year for her book "Alive Together." Associated Press via Chicago Sun-Times, 1997

 
 
Updated 2/22/2020 7:17 PM

Lisel Mueller fled Germany at 15 and came to America, where she wrote in her poem "Curriculum Vitae":

"In the new language everyone spoke too fast. Eventually

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I caught up with them."

She caught up and more, using her "new language" to craft ravishing poems in English that would win her the Pulitzer Prize and many other literary awards.

Mueller, who was living at the Admiral at the Lake in Chicago, died Friday of aftereffects of pneumonia, according to her daughter Jenny. She was 96.

A teacher, lecturer, critic and author of seven books of poetry, Mueller earned the Pulitzer in 1997 for "Alive Together: New and Selected Poems."

She was 73 and living in Lake Forest when she won the award.

Mueller was dubbed the laureate of Lake Forest. For decades, she and her husband, Paul, raised their family on the outskirts of the North Shore suburb, near land still populated by cows.

• See more in the Chicago Sun-Times at chicago.suntimes.com. For related coverage, check chicago.suntimes.com.

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