CONWAY, Ark. – Hendrix-Murphy Visiting Poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Sharon Olds will read and discuss her work on Thursday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Staples Auditorium on Hendrix College campus. A book signing in Mills Lobby will follow the reading, and WordsWorth Books of Little Rock will sell select titles of Olds’ work. This highly anticipated event is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required. Ms. Olds’ staff requests that members of the audience wear masks.
Sharon Olds is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, and for her prowess in the form has been awarded almost every major prize in poetry, including in 2022 two lifetime achievement awards: the Frost Medal and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Her additional honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award.
Often compared to “confessional” poets, she has been much praised for the courage, emotional power, and extraordinary physicality of her work. Writer Michael Ondaatje has described her poetry as “pure fire in the hands.”
Sharon Olds’ mastery of the form has been recognized since the beginning: her first collection of poetry, Satan Says, won the San Francisco Poetry Center Award in 1980. This publication was followed by The Dead and the Living, which was a Lamont Poetry Selection and the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her collection One Secret Thing was a finalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. Her collection Stag’s Leap won both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and her collection Arias was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her most recent collection Balladz, published in 2022 by Knopf, was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Today, she lives in New York and teaches graduate poetry workshops at New York University. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 2015 she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.