I can still remember reading my first Sharon Olds poem; mid-80s it would have been, the pages of Iron, edited by Peter Mortimer. Strength of language, directness of thought. Tensile. Going for the heart, the mind, the gut. I suppose it was from Peter that I got her address and the next time I was in New York, not so long after, we met. The result of that, a small book, The Matter of This World, New & Selected Poems by Sharon Olds, which Slow Dancer published in 1987. Her first collection published in this country. ‘Let us get you out there,’ I’d said. ‘Let people know who you are. One of the bigger publishers will pick you up for sure.’
It worked; they did. Now, thankfully, her work is as well known here as in her native country, and just this week her latest collection, Stag’s Leap, published by Jonathan Cape, won the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, the most prestigious in the UK and one of the most prestigious in the world, carrying with it the sum of £15,000.
More power to her; more poems.