Sharon Olds is a poet whose work is particularly direct and can be painfully raw at times with its physicality in relationships. Among the plain spoken and direct poets, Olds has become one of my personal favorites. But she has detractors as well. Helen Vendler, a leading American critic of poetry(1) describe her work as self- indulgent, sensationalist, and even pornographic. (2) I take great issue with her assessment.
One thing is indisputable about Olds. For all the exposure of her work; at least ten published collections of poetry, the inclusions in over a hundred anthologies and translation of her work into seven different languages; Olds remains a relatively private person. She has given few interviews over the years and when one takes place, it's newsworthy.