Sharon Olds
 

Sharon Olds

Visceral and transformative, Sharon Olds’ poems barrel down into that place in us that we “want never to know.” Michael Ondaatje has called her work “pure fire in the hands—risky, on the verge of falling, and in the end, leaping up.” Writing on such subjects as family, alcoholism, death, sex, mothering, and the horrors of violence and war, Olds writes stark, potent, and cathartic poetry—brutally honest and beautiful in its stripped-down artistry. Olds’ dazzling and harrowing voice surprises, haunts, and pleasures.

“Her work exhibits a lyrical acuity which is both purifying and redemptive,” writes David Leavitt. “Sharon Olds is enormously self-aware; her poetry is remarkable for its candor, its eroticism, and its power to move.” Her audience is wide and fiercely loyal. As The Poetry Foundation attests, “Olds is undeniably one of the most popular and accessible living American poets, and one of the few that has won a following among general readers.”

The author of eight books of poetry, Olds is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Lamont Poetry Selection, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and an Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Her work has been reprinted in over 100 anthologies and appears regularly in The New Yorker and other major journals. Olds served as the New York State Poet Laureate from 1998-2000. Currently, she is Erich Maria Remarque Professor in the Creative Writing Program at New York University and also oversees the poetry workshop she founded in 1984 at New York's Goldwater Hospital for the severely disabled.

 

Poems by Sharon Olds

I Go Back to May 1937

Psalm

Stag’s Leap

April, New Hampshire  

April, New Hampshire
(Available as a broadside.)