Born in San Francisco on November 19, 1942, Sharon Olds earned a BA at
Stanford University and a PhD at Columbia University.
Her first collection of poems, Satan Says (1980), received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Olds's following collection, The Dead & the Living (1983), received the Lamont Poetry Selection in 1983 and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Her other collections include Stag's Leap (Knopf, 2012), recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize; One Secret Thing(Random House, 2008); Strike Sparks: Selected Poems (2004, Knopf); The Unswept Room (2002); Blood, Tin, Straw (1999); The Gold Cell (1997); The Wellspring (1995); and The Father (1992); which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
About Olds's poetry, one reviewer for the New York Times said, "Her work has a robust sensuality, a delight in the physical that is almost Whitmanesque. She has made the minutiae of a woman's everyday life as valid a subject for poetry as the grand abstract themes that have preoccupied other poets."
Olds's numerous honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her poetry has been anthologized in more than a hundred collections.
Olds held the position of New York State Poet Laureate from 1998 to 2000. She was elected an Academy Chancellor in 2006. She currently teaches poetry workshops at New York University's Graduate Creative Writing Program as well as a workshop at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York.