Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal degree.
Frost after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel.
His first professional poem, "My Butterfly," was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.
In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938.
The couple moved to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed, and it was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves.
While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work.
By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will and North of Boston, and his reputation was established.
By the nineteen-twenties, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (1923), A Further Range (1936), Steeple Bush (1947), and In the Clearing (1962)—his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased.
Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England, and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time, Frost is anything but a merely regional or minor poet.
The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.
In a 1970 review of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman describes Frost's early work as "the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources of its own delight in the world," and comments on Frost's career as The American Bard: "He became a national celebrity, our nearly official Poet Laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular, Mark Twain."
About Frost, President John F. Kennedy said, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding."
Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.
Born in San Francisco on November 19, 1942, Sharon Olds earned a BA at Stanford University and a PhD at Columbia University.
Her first collection of poems, Satan Says (1980), received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Olds's following collection, The Dead & the Living (1983), received the Lamont Poetry Selection in 1983 and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Her other collections include Stag's Leap (Knopf, 2012), recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize; One Secret Thing(Random House, 2008); Strike Sparks: Selected Poems (2004, Knopf); The Unswept Room (2002); Blood, Tin, Straw (1999); The Gold Cell (1997); The Wellspring (1995); and The Father (1992); which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
About Olds's poetry, one reviewer for the New York Times said, "Her work has a robust sensuality, a delight in the physical that is almost Whitmanesque.
She has made the minutiae of a woman's everyday life as valid a subject…