“I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me.” – Sharon Olds
Born in San Francisco on this date in 1942, Olds has established herself as a leading poetic voice and an often controversial writer, loved by some, hated by others, but always interesting. In the process, she has won National Book Critics Circle Award for her amazing The Dead and The Living and both the Pulitzer Prize and T.S. Eliot Prize for Stag’s Leap – the first American woman to win these dual honors.
She began her writing career after earning degrees from both Stanford and Columbia and is known for writing intensely personal, emotionally scathing poetry which graphically depicts family life as well as global political events. Always interested in the “construct” of writing, she has taught writing for many years as a professor at New York University.
“I think that my work is easy to understand because I am not a thinker,” Olds said. “I am not a… How can I put it? I write the way I perceive, I guess. It’s not really simple, I don’t think, but it’s about ordinary things—feeling about things, about people. I’m not an intellectual. I’m not an abstract thinker. And I’m interested in ordinary life.”
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