Books
  • Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry
    A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

  • Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)
    Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)

Anthologies

Oliver's work can also be found in the following anthologies.

  • Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
    Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
  • Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
    Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
    Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
    From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
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Reading at Open Books, May 25th at 7:30PM

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 07:30 PM

ALLEN BRADEN & OLIVER DE LA PAZ

There are, in Allen Braden's first book of poems,
A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood ($16.95 Georgia), sixteen sonnets, each with a title beginning "Taboo against the Word Beauty...." Seeking after and exploring the occasions of beauty, and beauty's counterweight, seems fundamental to his harsh and elegant work. The world of these poems is rural, the vision is unsentimental -- "his future's on a hoist / overhead like a side of venison." Hunting, farming, and working with tools feature prominently in Braden's meditations on love and the destructive nature of life. His touchstone is perhaps that "climatic moment // of neither coming nor going, when breath ends, / before song begins."

In Requiem for the Orchard ($14.95 Akron), Oliver de la Paz's third collection, coming of age is handled with a sly intensity. Through sharp detail -- "the Ferris wheel / was the tallest thing in the valley" -- and emotional truth -- as a teen-ager "nothing / went better than planned" -- de la Paz conveys the experience of growing up a cultural outsider in rural Oregon. Coming of age is a life-long process, and so it is here, too. Among the fatherhood poems there's this lulling reassurance from the free-verse lullaby "No One Sleeps through the Night" -- "Little no one, peace and go. / I'll be watching while the sleep gods // lean and cast their shadows here."


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