• 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)


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

My AWP Schedule

If you're looking for me, here's where you can find me:


March 5-9, 2013. AWP Conference in Boston. Boston, MA.

Tuesday, March 5th: 

  • 5-6PM, Board & Staff Dinner

Wednesday, March 6th:

  • 8AM-3PM, Board Meeting
  • 6PM-8PM, Board Dinner
  • 8PM-10PM, AWP Opening Night. Sheraton Republic Foyer.

Thursday, March 7th:

  • 11AM-12PM, Book Signing. Southern Illinois University Press Booth.
  • 8:30-10PM, Keynote. Veterans Memorial Audtorium.
  • 10PM-12AM. Reception.

Friday, March 8th:

Saturday, March 9th:

  • 10:30AM-11:45AM, Panel Proposal Best Practices. Room 101, Plaza Level.
  • 12PM-1:15PM, 2014 Seattle Forum. Room 101, Plaza Level. 12-1:15PM. 
  • 3PM-4:15PM, Kundiman: 10-Year Celebration of Lovesongs, Verses, and Books. Alice Hoffman Bookstage.
  • 7PM-8:15PM, VQR Reception. Room 205, Level 2. 7-8:15PM.
  • 7:PM-8:15PM, Alice James Reception. Room 305, Level 3. 7-8:15PM.
  • 10PM-12AM. Reception.

Poem in CURA Magazine

Thanks to the editors at CURA for accepting my work!

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing.


The wonderful Karen An-Hwei Lee (author of Phyla of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res) and Joshua Young, (author of When the Wolves Quit, To the Chapel of Light and co-author of The Diagesis) tagged me for The Next Big Thing interview series. Thanks so much, Karen and Joshua! Here are responses regarding my fifth book of poetry/prose that is currently in progress.


What is your working title of your book?


The working title is In the Curl of the Labyrinth, and it will most certainly change. It might just get shortened to Labyrinth, though I don't want people to confuse it with the Borges book.


Where did the idea come from for the book?


I attended a reading during the Slash Pine Poetry Festival in Tuscaloosa, AL, and I heard the work of David Welch. I really liked the spare, parable-like quality of the pieces he read, so I sought to do something similar.


What genre does your book fall under?


Currently, the book is a sequence of inter-related prose poems. You could classify the book as a novella, too, though there's not really a clear narrative trajectory. At the moment, it's a strange catalogue of sensations in the dark.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?


Lou Diamond Phillips--Minotaur

Michael Copon--Boy

Lou Diamond Phillips--Voiceover Narrator


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

As a spool of thread slowly unwinds, a boy, lost in a labyrinth, senses what dwells within.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?


Upon completion, I intend to query various publishers. I currently have an editor who is supportive of me and of future projects, so I will show her the manuscript, but she has also given me the blessing to send my work elsewhere as budgets get decided and catalogs get reviewed.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?


It hasn't taken that long. I started writing pieces for the manuscript in April of 2011, and I've continued to write parts for the manuscript at the start of the 2013 year, so drafting the book has taken me a little less than two years. The time kind of flew by because writing these little ditties has been fun.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?


I'd compare the work to the first book, Names Above Houses, because it follows a similar allegorical tone, though the tone of this newer work is much darker. I'd also say it's comparable to other poetry books that take on revising mythologies.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?


Recently, my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and I've been reading a lot of literature that explains or attempts to explain what the world is like to someone on the Autistic Spectrum. Part of the symptoms of Asperger's is a thing called Sensory Processing Disorder, which effects how sensory information is sensed and perceived. Night time has been particularly hard because when it's time to turn out the lights for bedtime, all the noises and sounds of the house are amplified for our son. The heightened secondary, tertiary, and quaternary senses of someone who has been deprived of sight is a phenomenon that has been described by people who have been deprived of light for long stretches of time, and so I wanted to explore issues of perception. I've also been reading a lot of Oliver Sacks. While the pieces in the book are, by no means, commentaries about life on the Autistic Spectrum, they are pieces that allow me to work through what I don't understand about how my son perceives the world.


What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?


The poems are interested in hybridity--the minotaur is an animal man and the boy is a boy on the verge of being a man, but he also is part of the world and not part of the world. There are weird creatures in it. The walls have faces. Weird, unexplained lights, opera, and blind fishes.


You can also find some of the poems from the sequence here:


Sweet: A Literary Confection:  "Labyrinth 1-4"


Fiction Southeast: "Labyrinth 10"


jmww: "Labyrinth 5, 17, 23, 27, 28"

DIAGRAM: "Labyrinth 24-26"


At Length: "Labyrinth 34-38, 49, 64, 67-72"


The Offending Adam:  "Labyrinth 58-62"


The Journal: "Labyrinth 55-57"


Anti-: "Labyrinth 65-66"



Jake. Peace, friend.


Announcing the MFA Program at Western Washington University

It's now official. Western Washington University is converting their MA/English Creative Writing Emphasis program into an MFA in Creative Writing.

We will start accepting students for the program in the Fall of 2013. Programs of study include Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction and our program will emphasis cross-genre/hybridized work. Western Washington University is also the home of the Bellingham Review.

Our core faculty includes Bruce Beasley, Brenda Miller, Carol Guess, Kelly Magee, Kathryn Trueblood, Tiana Kahakauwila, Suzanne Paola, and Oliver de la Paz.

2013 Kundiman Poetry Retreat Faculty

Asian American Poetry Retreat


Fordham University, Rose Hill · New York City · June 19 - 23, 2013

Application Period: December 15 - February 1

This project is made possible by lead funding from Fordham University and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


In order to help mentor the next generation of Asian American poets, Kundiman sponsors an annual Poetry Retreat in partnership with Fordham University. During the Retreat, nationally renowned Asian American poets conduct workshops with fellows. Readings, writing circles and informal social gatherings are also scheduled. Through this Retreat, Kundiman hopes to provide a safe and instructive environment that identifies and addresses the unique challenges faced by emerging Asian American poets. This 5-day Retreat takes place from Wednesday to Sunday. Workshops will not exceed eight students.


Writing Workshop

A nationally renowned Asian American poet facilitates each writing workshop. Workshops consist of writing exercises and group discussion on fellows' poems. Fellows are expected to workshop new poems-- poems written at retreat. In order to help foster relationships between fellows themselves, fellows are assigned a home group for the duration of the retreat. The faculty rotates in the work-shopping of each home group.


Lincoln Center Reading

Come and celebrate the new poems as Kundiman Faculty and Fellows read for the public.

Friday, June 21st
7:00 pm
Fordham Lincoln Center 113 W. 60th Street (at Columbus Avenue)
12th Floor Lounge


Take A, B, C, D & 1 trains to Columbus Circle.
Exit at 60th Street & Broadway.  Go west of Columbus Avenue.
Upon entering the glass doors inform the security desk that you are attending the Asian American Poetry event.  Take escalators up 1 floor to Plaza level.  Take elevator up to the 11th floor.  Take stairs 1 flight up to the 12th Floor.  Enter 12th Floor Lounge


Mentoring: Conferring and Connections

Faculty members schedule one-on-one conferences with participants. Prior to arriving, fellows submit a request indicating their order of preference as to which poet they would like to meet one-on-one. 



The Kundiman Asian American Poetry Retreat is held on Fordham University's beautiful Rose Hill Campus located in the Bronx, NYC.


2013 Faculty

Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent being Behind My Eyes (W.W. Norton, 2008). His earlier collections are Book of My Nights (BOA Editions, 2001); Rose (BOA, 1986), winner of the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University; The City in Which I Love You (BOA, 1991), the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; and a memoir entitled The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (Simon and Schuster, 1995), which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and will be reissued by BOA Editions in 2012. Lee's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 1988 he received the Writer's Award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. He is also featured in Katja Esson's documentary, Poetry of Resilience.

Srikanth Reddy is the author of two books of poetry -- Facts for Visitors, which received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry, and Voyager -- both published by the University of California Press.  His scholarly study of 20th Century American poetry, titled Changing Subjects, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the doctoral program in English at Harvard University, Reddy has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the NEA, and the Creative Capital Foundation.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Lee Ann Roripaugh’s most recent volume of poetry, Dandarians, is forthcoming from Milkweed Press in 2014.  Her third volume of poetry, On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year, was released by Southern Illinois University Press in 2009.  A second volume, Year of the Snake, also published by Southern Illinois University Press, was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004.  Her first book, Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin Books, 1999), was a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series, and was selected as a finalist for the 2000 Asian American Literary Awards.  The recipient of a 2003 Archibald Bush Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship, she was also named the 2004 winner of the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, the 2001 winner of the Frederick Manfred Award for Best Creative Writing awarded by the Western Literature Association, and the 1995 winner of the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize.  Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.  Roripaugh is currently a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.

For a list of previous faculty members and guest poets, click here.



The non-refundable tuition fee is $350. Room and Board is free to accepted Fellows.


Application Process

Application to the Retreat is by electronic submission only from December 15 - February 1st.




Retreat logistics for faculty, returning and newly accepted Fellows including travel information, forms and what to expect at the retreat can be found here.


Happy Halloween!


Change of Venue for the PSA/Red Hen Reading

The reading will now be held at The Ruskin Art Club at 4PM.


Details are here: