Selected Poems, 1980-2002
By Sharon Olds
(Knopf, Paperback, 9780375710766, 208pp.)
Publication Date: September 28, 2004
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A powerful collection from one of our most gifted and widely read poets–117 of her finest poems drawn from her seven published volumes.
Michael Ondaatje has called Sharon Olds’s poetry “pure fire in the hands” and cheered the “roughness and humor and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss.” This rich selection exhibits those qualities in poem after poem, reflecting, moreover, an exciting experimentation with rhythm and language and a movement toward an embrace beyond the personal. Subjects are revisited–the pain of childhood, adolescent sexual stirrings, the fulfillment of marriage, the wonder of children–but each recasting penetrates ever more deeply, enriched by new perceptions and conceits.
Strike Sparks is a testament to this remarkable poet’s continuing and amazing growth.
Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and was educated at Stanford and Columbia. She was the New York State Poet Laureate from 1998 to 2000. She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and was one of the founders of the NYU workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Her work has received the Harriet Monroe Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets, and the San Francisco Poetry Center Award. She lives in New York City.
Sharon Olds’s The Dead and the Living; The Gold Cell; The Wellspring; The Father; Blood, Tin, Straw; and The Unswept Room are available in Knopf paperback.