Poet Sharon Olds presented by Eagle Pond Authors’ Series Nov. 10 at PSU

October 25th, 2011 by Elizabeth

Photo by Catherine Mauger

PLYMOUTH, N.H.—The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series at Plymouth State University will host a reading by former New York State Poet Laureate Sharon Olds at 7 p.m.  Thursday, Nov. 10.


Sharon Olds

With sensuality, humor, sprung rhythm and stunning imagery, Sharon Olds expresses truths about domestic and political violence, sexuality, family relationships, love and the body. Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins calls Olds “a poet of sex and the psyche…infamous for her subject matter alone.” “But,” Collins says, “her closer readers know her as a poet of constant linguistic surprise.”

In an interview with The Guardian’s Marianne Macdonald, Olds said, “I’ve tried to make sense of my life … make a small embodiment of ordinary life, from a daughter’s, wife’s mother’s point of view.”  She continued, “And once a poem is written, and I like it enough to type it, and it’s rewritten, and maybe published, and I’m in front of people, reading it aloud—I’m not too embarrassed by that. … It doesn’t feel personal.  If feels like art—a made thing—the ‘I’ in it not myself anymore, but, I’d hope, some pronoun that a reader or hearer could slip into.”

Olds was born in 1942 in San Francisco and educated and Stanford and Columbia Universities.  She was the New York Poet Laureate from 1998 to 2000.  She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at NYU and was one of the founders of the NYU workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York.

Olds’ 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 is also a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Her poetry collections include: Satan Says, The Dead and the Living, The Gold Cell, The Matter of This World, The Sign of Saturn, The Father, The Wellspring, Blood, Tin, Straw, The Unswept Room, Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002, and One Secret Thing. Her next collection is tentatively titled Stags Leap: Poems 1997-2000.

Now in its 14th year, the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series is a tribute to Donald Hall, one of the nation’s most beloved poets and authors. Hall remains the heart and soul of this series and is instrumental in bringing nationally and internationally revered poets to the PSU campus.

Following the reading, Hall will join Olds at a table in the lobby to sign copies of his just-released book of poems, The Back Chamber, which he has declared, at 83, will be his last book.

Free tickets are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869, and are highly recommended.

Information about the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series at Plymouth State University is available from series director Diane Jeffrey, djeffrey@plymouth.edu.

General information about events at PSU is available at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.