Following the Pulitzer prize-winning collection Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds’ newest book of poems, Odes, addresses and embodies love, gender, and sexual politics through the powerful and tender age-old poetic form of the ode. National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis’ stunning poetry debut, Voyage of the Sable Venus, considers the roles of desire and race in the construction of the self through lyrical meditations on the black female figure. Join us as these poets read from their intimate work and interrogate the structure of the body through its pleasures and sorrows, complex aesthetics and universal truths.
Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and educated at Stanford University and Columbia University. The winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize for her 2012 collection, Stag’s Leap, she is the author of ten previous books of poetry and the winner of many other awards and honors, including the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award for her first book, Satan Says, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for her second, The Dead and the Living, which was also the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983. The Father was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and The Unswept Room was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and helped to found the NYU outreach programs, among them the writing workshop for residents of Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, and for the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She lives in New York City.
Robin Coste Lewis is the author of Voyage of the Sable Venus, a National Book Award winner. She is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California. Lewis is also a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her BA from Hampshire College, her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A previous finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition: Women in Literary Arts, VIDA, Phantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.