Visiting Writers Series: Sharon Olds
This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.
Sharon Olds is one of contemporary poetry’s leading voices. She is the winner of numerous awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for her 2012 volume Stag’s Leap, which also received the T.S. Eliot Prize and was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Reads of the year. Olds has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
With sensuality, humor, conversational but propulsive rhythms, and remarkable imagery, she expresses truths about domestic and political violence, sexuality, family relationships, love, and the body. Often compared to “confessional” poets, she has been much praised for the courage, emotional power, and extraordinary physicality of her work. A reviewer for The New York Times hailed her poetry for its vision: “Like Whitman, Ms. Olds sings the body in celebration of a power stronger than political oppression.”
Olds’ poetry appeals to a wide audience and has been anthologized in more than one hundred collections and published in a number of journals and magazines including The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times. Her most recent collection, Odes (2016), addresses a wide range of topics such as gender, age, and sexual politics.
She served as the New York State Poet Laureate from 1998 to 2000 and held the position of Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2006 to 2012. Olds has been elected a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches in the graduate writing program at New York University.
The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series regularly hosts public readings and Q & A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. During their time at Butler University, visiting authors such as Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Kurt Vonnegut, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, Amy Tan, and Colson Whitehead not only share their work with the Indianapolis community, but also interact directly with undergraduate and graduate students in Butler's English classes and MFA program. Towards this end, Butler offers a 300-level English course which features the work of authors in the Visiting Writers Series. Students taking this class are invited to join English faculty in a private dinner given for each writer when they visit the campus, and have the opportunity to formally introduce the writers at their public readings.
The Visiting Writers Program is coordinated by the Department of English and offers 10-12 events each year, all of which are free and open to Butler students, faculty, and staff as well as the Indianapolis community, making the Butler University Visiting Writers Series one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country.
For more information, please visit https://www.butler.edu/vws