Sharon Olson

Sharon Olson

Sharon Olson has recently moved to Annapolis, Maryland (after moving East in 2008 and living previously in both Guilford, Connecticut, and Lawrenceville, New Jersey). She retired in 2007 from the Palo Alto (California) City Library where she had been a reference librarian and cataloger since 1978. She earned a B.A. in Art History from Stanford and attended its campus in Florence, Italy, in 1967. She also has an M.L.S. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon. Her chapbook, Clouds Brushed in Later, was selected by Carolyn Forché as the winner of the Abby Niebauer Memorial Chapbook award and was published by the San Jose Poetry Center Press in 1987. The Long Night of Flying came out in 2006 from Sixteen Rivers Press, and in 2019 a second book Will There Be Music?  was published by Cherry Grove Collections. In the field of genealogy she has published numerous articles in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey between 2016 and 2021.

The Long Night of Flying

“Like a bird, Sharon Olson flies us over western civilization—its art and its history—stopping here and there to collect bits with which to weave her idiosyncratic travelogue. Her eye probes unlit crevices and finds its morsel in the shadows, and her ear is tuned to the music playing even amidst the white noise of loss.” —Lucia Perillo

Read poems from The Long Night of Flying by Sharon Olson.

Follow Sharon at her blog “slopoet tells all” (

Full list of publications:

Recent poems that can be read online are at Ginosko Literary Journal, No. 28, Spring, 2022; Rat’s Ass Review, Winter 2020, Verse Daily, July 12, 2020; Heron Tree in 2018; and The Curator in 2015.

Sharon’s poem “Summer Winding Down, Salisbury, 1666,” appeared in The New Verse News, September 13, 2020, and was also featured in the Dryden Ensemble’s 2020 Autumn Benefit, “Purcell, Pepys & the Plague,” read by actress Roberta Maxwell.

Sharon’s poem “Heavenly Bodies Along the Rail” was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize by Cider Press Review.

Read about the Waverley Writers Anniversary Book, co-edited by Sharon, in the June 22, 2007 issue of the Palo Alto Weekly here (see page 11 of the pdf file).

Hear Sharon read poems as featured poet on the Princeton Public Library National Poetry Month podcast blog.

Read Sharon’s poem “Caryatids” in Cider Press Review January 1, 2014 issue.

Read about Sharon in the June 7, 2006 issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.

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