Sharon Olds divides this new book into five sections - 'Blood', 'Tin', ' 'Straw', ' 'Fire' and 'Light' - each made up of fourteen poems whose dominant imagery is drawn from one of these elements. The poems are rooted in different moments of an ordinary life and weave back and forth in time. Each section suggests the progression of the making of a soul cleansed by blood, forged by fire, suffused by light. Unafraid to confront the ecstatic or the brutal side of a woman's experience, Sharon Olds transforms the subjects with an alchemist's art, using language that is alternately casual and startling, fierce and transcendent. This is an intensely moving collection by one of our finest poets.
Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco, educated at Stanford and Columbia universities, and has lived for many years in New York City. Her books have won many awards over the years. Her last collection, Stag's Leap, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. In 2016 she won the Wallace Stevens award for her 'outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry'.