Lixel Mueller. Courtesy Thinglink.

Lisel Mueller (born February 8, 1924) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.


Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1924 and immigrated with her family to America in 1939. Her father, Fritz Neumann, became a professor at Evansville College. Her mother died in 1953.[1] "Though my family landed in the Midwest, we lived in urban or suburban environments," she once wrote.

She graduated from the University of Evansville in 1944 and has taught at the University of Chicago, Elmhurst College in Illinois, and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.[1]

Mueller has written book reviews for the Chicago Daily News.[1]

She and her husband, Paul Mueller (d. 2001) built a home in Lake Forest, Illinois in the 1960s, where they raised two daughters and lived for many years. Mueller currently resides in a retirement community in Chicago.


Her poems are extremely accessible, yet intricate and layered. While at times whimsical and possessing a sly humor, there is an underlying sadness in much of her work. [2] [3]


The Need to Hold Still (1980) received a National Book Award.

Alive Together: New & selected poems (1996) won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.




  • Dependencies. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1965.
  • Life of a Queen (chapbook). LaCrosse, WI: Juniper Press, 1970.
  • The Private Life. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1976.
  • Voices from the Forest (chapbook). LaCrosse, WI: Juniper Press, 1977.
  • The Need to Hold Still. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.
  • Second Language: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1986.
  • Waving from Shore: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
  • Learning to Play by Ear: Essays and early poems. LaCrosse, WI: Juniper Press, 1990.
  • Alive Together: New & selected poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.


  • Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Selected Later Poems. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980.
  • (Translator) Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Circe’s Mountain. Princeton, NJ: Milkweed Editions, 1990.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[4]

Audio / videoEdit

Lisel Mueller reads "Monet Refuses The Operation"02:30

Lisel Mueller reads "Monet Refuses The Operation"

  • Lisel Mueller (cassette). Kansas City, MO: New Letters, 1981.
  • Lisel Mueller: A reading, October 28, 1981 (cassette). Tucson, AZ: Tucson Poetry Center, 1981.
  • Irving Feldman and Lisel Mueller: Reading their poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, Mar. 29, 1982 (tape). Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1982.
  • Visiting Writers Series (CD). Portland, OR: Reed College, 2011.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lisel Mueller, NNDB. Web, October 29, 2006.
  2. Lisel Mueller at Western Illinois University Web site, accessed October 29, 2006
  3. Curriculum Vitae by Lisel Mueller 1992 at Academy of American Poets Web site, accessed October 29, 2006
  4. Lisel Mueller b. 1924, Poetry Foundation, Web, Jan. 29, 2012.
  5. Search results = au:Lisel Mueller + audiobook, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Sep. 27, 2016.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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