Charles Olson (1910-1970) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. His first career was in politics, but he soon turned to writing and by the late Forties his work had received major attention. He was writing teacher and then rector at Black Mountain College, where Robert Creeley came to teach as well. Iconoclastic and controversial, Olson, along with Creeley, launched a postmodern, free-verse revolution, and his work opened new pathways in thought and language to a generation of dissident writers. Other volumes of Charles Olson's poetry are published by the University of California Press: The Maximus Poems (1983) and The Collected Poems of Charles Olson (1987).
Robert Creeley has long been an advocate of Charles Olson's work. Nine volumes of their correspondence have been published by Black Sparrow Press. The University of California Press publishes The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975 (1982), his Collected Prose (1988), Collected Essays (1989), and Selected Poems (1991).
By the time of her death on 11, February 1963, Sylvia Plath had written a large bulk of poetry. To my knowledge, she never scrapped any of her poetic efforts. With one or two exceptions, she brought every piece she worked on to some final form acceptable to her, rejecting at most the odd verse, or a false head or a false tail. Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity. So this book contains not merely what verse she saved, but—after 1956—all she wrote.—Ted Hughes, from the Introduction