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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds to give reading at Emory

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds will give a free reading on March 20 at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Credit: Brett Hall Jones.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds will visit Emory University for a free reading Thursday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts on the university campus.

Olds won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for "Stag's Leap" (2012), a collection of poems exploring the grief of divorce and the pain of recovery. The book was honored with the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, making her the first American woman to receive this prize.

Books of Olds' poetry and a limited-edition broadside will be for sale at the reading, and a signing event will follow the program.

'Fierce and fearless' poetry

"The poetry of Sharon Olds has been compelling reading since her debut," says poet Kevin Young, curator of literary collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). "She writes of family and memory, of women and men, loss and marriage and anger and life in these parts better than anyone. Her poetry is by turns fierce and fearless."

Due to limited seating in the auditorium, tickets are required for the free event and can be obtained beginning Monday, March 3 through the Schwartz Center box office. A limited number of tickets also are available at four local independent bookstores and must be picked up in person. (See ticket information below for complete details.) All tickets are limited to two per person.

About Sharon Olds

The author of 12 poetry collections, Olds' other notable books of poetry include her first, "Satan Says" (1980), which won the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award; "The Dead and the Living" (1983), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; "The Father" (1992), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; "The Unswept Room" (2002), finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award; and "One Secret Thing" (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, Calif., Olds received her education at Stanford and Columbia universities. She has taught at the Poetry Society of America, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and Brandeis University. She was the New York State poet laureate from 1998-2000. She currently teaches graduate writing at NYU.

Olds' reading

The March 20 reading is part of MARBL's Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series, now in its ninth year. Previous readers in the series include such acclaimed poets as Lucille Clifton, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Natasha Trethewey, W.S. Merwin, Seamus Heaney, and most recently, Paul Muldoon.

"Olds is a powerful and funny reader, the kind measurable by not just laughter but by those audible sounds of acknowledgement after nearly every poem," Young says. "We are fortunate to have her visit the Danowski Reading Series this year, especially given her ties to past readers like Lucille Clifton, whose archive bears much evidence of their friendship. Both are some of the bravest writers I know."

The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is located at 1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne and Lowergate South decks.

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