Poet, Sharon Olds Is the 2016 Hale Award Medalist


The Richards Free Library and the Judges of the Sarah Josepha Hale Award are pleased to announce that poet Sharon Olds is the 2016 Sarah Josepha Hale Award Medalist.  She will accept the award on October 1, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Newport Opera House.

A native of California, Sharon Olds attended Stanford University and Columbia University. She has published over a dozen collections of poetry and has won numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 she won both the Pulitzer Prize and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize for Stag’s Leap.

Wes McNair, Maine Poet Laureate says of Olds”…there is not a doubt that she is one of the major poets of her generation in America.  There is also no doubt of her influence in bringing more feeling to American verse and the woman’s experience.”

Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University, and helped to found the NYU workshop program for residents of Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, and for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. She was New York State Poet from 1998 to 2000. She lives in New Hampshire and New York City.

For over fifty years, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award has been awarded by the Trustees of the Richards Free Library in recognition of a distinguished body of written work in the field of literature and letters.  The award honors author, poet, and essayist, Sarah Josepha Hale, who as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine shaped the opinion of nineteenth century American women.  The list of Hale Award winners includes the finest writers of our times from Robert Frost in 1956 to Alan Taylor in 2015.

For more information about the Hale award please contact Andrea Thorpe, Director of the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430 or rfl@newport.lib.nh.us.