Poet Sharon Olds writes whatever she likes, thank you

But they all feature in Odes, the latest collection from Sharon Olds.

In recent years, the American poet has found critical acclaim.

She won the Pulitzer Prize and the TS Eliot Prize in 2013 for Stag's Leap, written when her husband left her after almost three decades of marriage.

Last year, Olds was awarded the Academy of American Poets' Wallace Stevens Award, which came with a $US100,000 cheque and acknowledgement she was an "American master, and a national treasure".

'These were my passionate subjects'

Woman of Substances: Why Jenny Valentish is lifting the veil on women's addiction

"I was trying to control [my alcohol addiction]," Valentish tells ABC News.

"I was trying to do anything but quit. I went to a hypnotist, I kept going to the doctor — who put me on antidepressants even though she acknowledged I wasn't depressed; I went to counselling.

"I thought, [the drinking] can't stop, I don't know anything but this."

Indeed, having started drinking at the age of 13 — and using drugs including hash, ecstasy, speed, heroin, and crack in her late teens and early 20s — at 34, Valentish had lived the majority of her life addicted to substances.

Tolkien book Beren and Luthien published after 100 years

Beren and Luthien is about the fate of two characters — a mortal man and an immortal elf — taken from Tolkien's fictional world, Middle Earth.

The story centres on a series of daunting quests and forbidden love, as the lovers together try to steal from the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor.

It was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, who is now 92, and contains versions of a tale that became part of The Silmarillion.

2017 Stella Prize: Australia's best women's writing

The winner receives $50,000 — though sadly two of this year's shortlisted writers died last year.

RN's Books and Arts explains the broad range of work by the prize's six shortlisted authors.

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

This novel puts an act of sexual violence at its centre. A young woman — Bella — is raped and murdered.

But An Isolated Incident is not another sensationalist account of violence against women.

Where nursery rhymes really come from

Despite the proliferation of explanations for the meanings and origins of nursery rhymes, many, if not most, are unfounded.

Ring a Ring o Rosie, we all fall dead?

Since the 1960s, but not before, it has often been said that the nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o Rosie is about the bubonic plague in England.

Ring-a-ring o' roses,

A pocket full of posies,

A-tishoo! A-tishoo!

We all fall down.