The Washington Post

“Stag’s Leap” sells out after winning Pulitzer Prize

Once again, the Pulitzer Prize has proved its value to publishers and authors: Hours after winning the poetry award yesterday, “Stag’s Leap” jumped to No. 1 in the American poetry category on Amazon — and sold out. The online retailer now says it will ship copies in one to three weeks. (An e-book version remains available immediately.)

This new bestselling collection is by New York University creative-writing teacher Sharon Olds, who was already one of the most well-known poets in the country. Her award-winning book is a sequence of poems about her divorce; Stag’s Leap is the name of a wine she and her former husband used to enjoy.

Knopf, which has published Olds’s work for decades, is rushing to reprint more copies while interest is hot. Publicity Director Nicholas Latimer said this afternoon that “Stag’s Leap” is getting a fifth printing of 3,500 hardback copies and a third printing of 10,000 paperback copies. There will soon be 25,000 copies in print total — an extraordinary number for a book of contemporary poetry.

The Pulitzer judges praised her book for its “unflinching” examination of “love, sorrow and the limits of self-knowledge.”

Olds, who lives in New Hampshire, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry in 1984. She created a stir in 2005 when, to protest the Iraq War, she publicly declined First Lady Laura Bush’s invitation to the National Book Festival.

Twitter @RonCharles

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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