Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lisel Mueller  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1924 in Hamburg, Germany

-- Website --
-- Lisel Mueller on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mueller has lived in the Chicago area since fleeing Nazi Germany at the age of 15.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lisel Mueller is a poet and translator. She graduated from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 1944 and has taught at the University of Chicago, Elmhurst College in Illinois, and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Mueller has also written book reviews for the ''Chicago Daily News''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Private Life: Poems (Louisiana paperbacks ; L-73)
ISBN: 0807101826

Louisiana State Univ Pr. 1976

Book by Mueller, Lisel

The Need to Hold Still: Poems
ISBN: 0807106704

LSU Press. 1980

Book by Mueller, Lisel

Second language: Poems
ISBN: 0807113360

Louisiana State University Press. 1986

Second Language is the fourth volume of work from the highly acclaimed poet Lisel Mueller. The second language of the title, English, supplanted Mueller’s native language when she came to the United States from Hitler’s Germany at age fifteen. But other second languages are at work here as well. The poems in this collection have to do with memory and metaphor, two forces that enable us to interpret our experience. Each is in a sense a second language, and in Mueller’s employ each gains expression in an imaginative and humanistic voice. In “English as a Second Language,” the various meanings of Second Language come together lucidly and effectively.

Waving from Shore
ISBN: 0807115762

Louisiana State Univ Pr. 1989

Poems deal with language, music, memory, mortality, silence, the night, and the past

Alive Together: New and Selected Poems
ISBN: 0807121274

Louisiana State Univ Pr. 1996

A collection of poems addresses such topics as family history, music, language, art, and mortality

Dependencies: Poems
ISBN: 0807122750

LSU Press. 1998

In this perceptive debut collection, originally published in 1965 and long out of print, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Lisel Mueller reveals the immense talent that would later bring her the highest literary honors. Now available for the first time in paperback, Dependencies affirms Mueller as a poet of control, precision, and feeling. Driven by the sense of life as process, these poems linger on the natural landmarks of human experience―those excursions into awareness that single out and illumine certain facets of growth, connection, creation, and decline. Mueller has commented that she does not “want to just put [her] poetry in a drawer.” The reissue of this affecting first book brings her earliest work out of the bureau and into the bookstores for all to enjoy.


The Private Life

  • Lamont Poetry Selection, Academy of American Poets, 1975
  • The Need to Hold Still

  • National Book Award, 1980
  • Alive Together

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)