Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Sharon Olds!

From The Writer’s Almanac:
It's the birthday of the poet Sharon Olds, (books by this author) born in San Francisco (1942), who didn't publish her first book of poems, Satan Says (1980), until she was 37 years old. She said, "I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky. ...Many lives don't allow that, the good fortune of being able to work at it, and try, and keep trying."
Olds one of the few modern poets who actually sells thousands of copies of her books, in part because she writes about the family lives and love lives of ordinary women in her collections The Dead and the Living (1984), The Father (1992), and Blood, Tin, Straw (1999). Most readers assume she is writing about her own life, but early in her career, Olds made a vow that she would never talk about her personal life in public, and she refuses to say whether or not her poems are autobiographical.
She also tries not to watch any television or read any newspapers, because she just doesn't have time. To stay informed about the world, she looks at the front page of newspapers when she walks past newsstands, and she asks her friends to brief her on world affairs. She said, "It might be a bad thing, not to know what's going on in the world. I can't say I really approve of it ...[I just don't like] learning about so many things that we can't do anything about." Her collection Strike Sparks came out in 2004.

Addition on Thursday, 22 November 2007:
I read The Writer’s Almanac every day in my email box (if you want to subscribe you can do so here) and I try to get up every morning and be in the kitchen by 6:50 a.m. to hear Garrison Keillor read it on my local NPR station, WAMU. As a result of all of this, I am a big fan of The Writer’s Almanac and often include squibs from it on the blog. This one was not credited properly initially and for that I am deeply sorry.


Nicki Hastie said...

Hey Julie!

I'd like to say Happy Birthday to Sharon Olds too.

I really enjoy her poems because they feel like they are written about her own life - and that feeling is more than good enough for me. They hit upon truth, even if this may not be her own lived version.


Brian said...

Julie -
While it is commendable that you pay homage to Sharon Olds, it is not so commendable that you lift that homage, word for word, from another website without attribution. I don't have to tell you the name for that act. And I don't have to tell you what the discovery of that act can do to the reputation of a writer. I strongly suggest that you correct this situation promptly.
Please keep writing. please keep blogging. But do it honorably.

Best regards,

Julie R. Enszer said...

Thanks, Brian. You're exactly right. I made the proper citation. I was working too quickly earlier this week and that never serves me - or anyone. Appreciate your visit to the blog.


Anonymous said...

happy birthday I read your poem Sex without love it was what I am using for an english presentation.

Julie R. Enszer said...


How very cool. Do drop by and tell me how the presentation goes.