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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« August Poem-A-Day: Day 4 | Main | August Poem-A-Day: Day 3 »

When You Know You're In Deep

So I've been working on two poetic sequences over the course of three years. Initially, I thought that these two sequences would, somehow manage to combine to form a single unified narrative. Now, as I've continued writing for both sequences, I see that they must take divergent paths. It's not that topically and tonally they're different. It's that one project is positioning itself to be "one thing" and the other project is positioning itself to be "another thing."

I'm a bit odd about my poetry sequences . . . I go looking for them. I try to find containers for my various projects so that I can see 1) how to unify them and 2) how I can use what I know to launch me towards the creation of new work. Not all poets work like this. Many of the poets I know write a bunch of poems and try to come up with the ordering later.

Once I know I'm heading down one particular pathway in terms of a project, it becomes easier (for lack of a better word) for me to compose poems that help frame the project's scope.

The trick is knowing when you're in deep--when you've turned that corner and you know there's no turning back from a particular syntactic shape, a tonal agreement, and/or a subject matter. For me, I think I realize I'm moving in a particular direction for these two projects based solely on volume. I have no idea how I'm going to stop myself as far as these poems are concerned. I could keep writing and writing them. I'm at the "humming place," if you will.

Yes, the trick will be "turning it off."

***

Not much happening with me these days. I finished teaching summer classes and now I'm planning my upcoming course: Asian American Literature at the 200 level and my graduate poetry seminar which I'm teaching as Contemporary Avant Garde Poetry. I have no idea how I'm going to teach the later.

***

Meredith painted our deck. It looks awesome. I have to now paint the railings. Our excavator finished leveling our land, so all we have to do now is seed it with grass and plant trees. There's no point in doing that work now because there's no water and our Fall months are quite rainy. Photos soon.

***

Current Spin:

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