• 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

Entries in Manuscript (6)

Deadline for The Kundiman Poetry Prize--March 1st



Now accepting submissions
Deadline:  March 1, 2012 


The Kundiman Poetry Prize is dedicated to publishing exceptional work by Asian American poets.  
Winner receives $1,000, book publication with Alice James Books and a New York City feature reading.

Alice James Books is a cooperative poetry press with a mission is to seek out and publish the best contemporary poetry by both established and beginning poets, with particular emphasis on involving poets in the publishing process.

First Readers:  Jenny Boully and Lee Herrick


  • Asian American writers living in the United States.


General Guidelines
  • Manuscripts must be typed, paginated, and 50 – 70 pages in length (single spaced).
  • Individual poems from the manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, anthologies, or chapbooks of less than 25 pages, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. Translations and self-published books are not eligible. No multi-authored collections, please.
  • Manuscripts must have a table of contents and include a list of acknowledgments for poems previously published. The inclusion of a biographical note is optional. Your name, mailing address, email address and phone number should appear on the title page of your manuscript. 
  • No illustrations, photographs or images should be included.
  • The Kundiman Poetry Prize is judged by consensus of the members of Kundiman's Artistic Staff and the Alice James Books Editorial Board. Manuscripts are not read anonymously. Learn more about our judging process.
  • Winners will be announced in June.

Guidelines for Electronic Manuscript Submission

You may submit your manuscript to The Kundiman Prize electronically by accessing our online submission manager here.  Entry fee is $28.

Guidelines for Print Manuscript Submission

Should you wish to submit your manuscript via postal mail, mail your entry to:

P.O. Box 4248
Sunnyside, NY 11104

Send one copy of your manuscript submission with two copies of the title page. Use only binder clips. No staples, folders, or printer-bound copies.

MANUSCRIPTS CANNOT BE RETURNED. Please do not send us your only copy.
Entry fee is $28.  Checks or money orders should be made out to Alice James Books. On the memo line of your check, write The Kundiman Poetry Prize.

Checklist for print manuscript entry:
  • One (1) copy of manuscript enclosed, with acknowledgements and two (2) copies of title page
  • $28 entry fee
  • Business sized SASE
  • Stamped addressed postcard
  • Postmarked by March 1, 2012


Prize Events

For information on Prize Events, click here.


Previous Winners


Mezzanines by Matthew Olzmann

Matthew Olzmann is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Inch, Gulf Coast, Rattle and elsewhere.  He’s received fellowships from Kundiman and the Kresge Arts Foundation.  Currently, he is a writer-in-residence for the InsideOut Litereary Arts Project and the poetry editor of The Collagist.


Pier by Janine Oshiro

Janine Oshiro holds degrees from Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), Portland State University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of a poetry fellowship from Oregon’s Literary Arts. She lives in Hawaii and teaches at Windward Community College 

Praise for Pier

"As if through an echolocation of brilliant and insistent off-rhyme, these poems effect a delicate placement of self into body, body into world, world into word. And at the center of it all is even more delicate loss.  Oshiro's Pier takes its measure in precise instances that ache with intelligence. A truly masterful first book."  —Cole Swensen

I'll Take that Break After All and Other Goals

I had every intention of writing a poem today, but my son's day care is having its "In-Service" which means I've been expending energy on the daddy front. That's left me little patience for poems this evening. And anyway, I found myself getting a little short with my work the past few days of the writing marathon. So it probably would behoove me to take a short break. I'll try to reconvene with the weekday writing habit starting back on the 6th.


Goals for September:

Manuscript Project 1:

Re-type the "Dear Empire" manuscript poem by poem. Reason: Shore up anachronisms, tonal shifts, and style-changes. Reconcile reoccuring characters and determine if there is an arc.

Manuscript Project 2:

Generate more "Nocturne" poems and "Scene" poems for balance. Attempt an organization and determine whether the "Nocturne" and "Scene" poems are sufficient to balance each other out or if something further needs to occur.

Manuscript Project 3:

Generate more "Labyrinth" poems? Decide the relationship between those poems and the "Camera" poems. Is this a full-length manuscript, or is this a chapbook.


Send work out! I've never submitted to Poetry Magazine or APR, so I think I'm going to break the ice this year and send some work that way. What the heck, right? I'm not sure the prose poems are right for them, but I'll find something.


Hi January.


Finishing up the surfacing of our garden beds. We just ordered two square yards of "Hogfuel." We'll probably need five more square yards to fill our entire garden plot. It's starting to look great!


I'm working on a Guggenheim Fellowship application. Last Fall was the first time I was eligible, but I didn't know it until the moment had passed. I know it's a crap shoot, but this is the artist's life, no? So, if you're eligible for a Guggenheim, the application is due September 15th. It's all online and fairly straightforward. You need to apply.

I'll be happy if you win. Really. I will be.


Current Spin:


Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear opens and then Boom. . .


In Conclusion . . . 

So it's the end of August and I've managed to squeeze off 31 poem drafts. Including July, I've managed 52 drafts of poems. It's been, by far, my most productive summer of writing. I'm going to try to keep up some momentum, though lately I've been feeling a bit burned out. I may need a short break. Trouble with a short break is it may wind up getting longer and longer, depending on how many excuses I keep making.

Earlier, I had promised that I'd keep it up until December. I'll try to stick to that promise, but I've got to reclaim my weekends. So for September, I'm only writing on weekdays.


I attempted to fill holes in my "Dear Empire" manuscript during this past month's worth of work, and I think I've done it. My next goal for September is to shore that manuscript up and move on to the next project which may either be my collection of "Nocturne" poems or trying to figure out the "Labyrinth" series. I'm thinking the "Labyrinth" series might be better off as a chapbook, but who knows. They're fun poems to write.

The "Nocturne" poems are not so fun to write, not only because the content's pretty dark, but the language is a bit more demanding in terms of the lyric.


I've got to send some poems out. They're starting to pile up, which is a good problem to have.


Thinking aloud here. Forgive me if this bores you.


Current Spin:


Solo single from the lead singer of the Fiery Furnaces. Catchy. Heard it over and over on the drive down to PDX.

August Group Writing and Other Musings

Once again I'm writing everyday for a month. In my case, I'm going to take weekends off, but I'll also try to write an extra poem here and there to make up for my weekend breaks. I'm still working on the "Labyrinth" series, and I'm trying to get to 25 poems to see where I'm at. I'm also going to try to carve up some more "Dear Empire" and "Nocturne" poems.

Truth be told, I have no idea where these poems are going. I'm just writing them and they're coming to me rather quickly. I don't know how they work adjacent to one another, since I have yet to sort them out into a rough manuscript of sorts. A few folks have asked me for copies of the manuscript to read for manuscript exchanges and, frankly at this stage I think if I gave them this manuscript it would be an unfair exchange because there IS no shape to this manuscript and the poor reader would be doing far too much work. I'm having a difficult time conceptualizing what these entities are. I'm now certain that the "Camera" and "Labyrinth" poems are separate from the "Dear Empire" poems. There's just no way I can successfully transition from one voice/style to the other in a graceful and articulate manner. This is a good problem to have, but it is still a problem. Essentially, I'm dealing with two separate manuscripts. So as I rambled on above, it seems I'm trying to write myself through these sequences to find an arc.

The "Nocturnes," which I'll be dipping into once in awhile, are the verse pieces and I haven't written that many . . . maybe fifteen or so. I hope to have a few more to gauge where to go next. I plan on continuing the poem-a-day through the end of September, so I'll evaluate from there.



I like the idea of carving a poem. There's a joke about the violin maker. The violin maker was asked how he creates a violin from a piece of wood. His response--it's easy. I just take out whatever isn't a violin.


Currently reading Mei-mei Berseenbrugge's I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems. Years ago, I had the pleasure of introducing Mei-mei during the Asian American Writers' Workshop poetry festival. I had no idea who she was. So I did what any person would do and "Googled" her. I think I wasn't equipped to read her work back then, but I did write a good introduction. Now, however, she knocks my socks off. I love her introspection. So much of her work is about the artistic process--not just writing but painting, sculpting, dance. Wow.


The work on the vegetable garden is stalled because the ground isn't level. I need to borrow my neighbor's Bobcat to scratch out a flatter plot. Here it is:


The plot actually goes back a ways. It just doesn't look as large here. In fact, the size of what's been plowed is actually much more than what Meredith or I envisioned for our garden. We may have to build a shed or something . . .


Current Spin:




Weekend and Binky Aftermath

As is my plan, I've posted the last poem of the week. Can't write on the weekends because weekends mean full time parenting. The kids are home, there are swim lessons to attend, and race cars to play with.

I've been skipping between poetry projects. The last two poems I posted are part of a different manuscript than the one whose contents I've listed on this blog. I don't quite know what to make of this manuscript. I feel it's a strange companion to Furious Lullaby, but I'm not sure. It's pretty dark.


Binky aftermath--the 3-yr-old is having trouble sleeping on his own. While he's been getting progressively better about life without binky-dependence, its affected his ability to soothe himself to sleep. Hell, he had a binky for three years of his short life, so it's understandable that he's having trouble here. Still, its really affected our sleep as parents because he keeps waking up in the middle of the night. I keep telling myself, this too will pass.

Meanwhile, I've got a serious twitchy eye from sleep deprivation.


My neighbor did me a solid and plowed back a plot of land for the containers of my box garden. It's still not level and for some reason he keeps finding huge hunks of concrete. I wonder if there had been a previous building there . . . Pictures soon.


Current Spin:

The Manuscript I'm Working On So Far:

I've been doing some curatorial work this evening. In this current concept of a manuscript, I have approxmately 108 poems. The question is order and weather the Camera and Labyrinth poems truly fit. If you're curious, here are the titles:


Camera 1.doc

Camera 2.doc
Camera 3.doc
Camera 4.doc
Camera 5.doc
Camera 6.doc
Camera 7.doc
Camera 8.doc
Camera 9.doc
Camera 10.doc
Camera 11.doc
Camera 12.doc
Camera 13.doc
Camera 14.doc
Camera 15.doc
Dear Empire [these are your assemblies].doc
Dear Empire [these are your asylums].doc
Dear Empire [these are your banners].doc
Dear Empire [these are your battlefields].doc
Dear Empire [these are your beasts].doc
Dear Empire [these are your birds].doc
Dear Empire [these are your boardwalks].doc
Dear Empire [these are your bridges].doc
Dear Empire [these are your canyons].doc
Dear Empire [these are your capital cities].doc
Dear Empire [these are your coffee people].doc
Dear Empire [these are your countries].docx
Dear Empire [these are your dead].doc
Dear Empire [these are your dissidents].doc
Dear Empire [these are your docks].doc
Dear Empire [these are your engines].doc
Dear Empire [these are your evenings].doc
Dear Empire [these are your followers].doc
Dear Empire [these are your foundries].doc
Dear Empire [these are your goods].doc
Dear Empire [these are your hagiographers].doc
Dear Empire [these are your holy places].doc
Dear Empire [these are your horizons].doc
Dear Empire [these are your inquests].doc
Dear Empire [these are your interstates].doc
Dear Empire [these are your maps].doc
Dear Empire [these are your meadows].doc
Dear Empire [these are your mercies].doc
Dear Empire [these are your monuments].doc
Dear Empire [these are your murders].doc
Dear Empire [these are your nights].doc
Dear Empire [these are your nurseries].doc
Dear Empire [these are your orders].doc
Dear Empire [these are your parks].doc
Dear Empire [these are your pastures].doc
Dear Empire [these are your plains].doc
Dear Empire [these are your processions].doc
Dear Empire [these are your questions].doc
Dear Empire [these are your radio towers].doc
Dear Empire [these are your ramparts].doc
Dear Empire [these are your refugees].doc
Dear Empire [these are your salt flats].doc
Dear Empire [these are your scribes].doc
Dear Empire [these are your skies].doc
Dear Empire [these are your springs].doc
Dear Empire [these are your squares].doc
Dear Empire [these are your stables].doc
Dear Empire [these are your structures].doc
Dear Empire [these are your subjects].doc
Dear Empire [these are your sugar men].doc
Dear Empire [these are your volcanoes].doc
Dear Empire [these are your winters].doc
Dear Empire [these are your witnesses].doc
Dear Empire [this is your aftermath].doc
Dear Empire [this is your art].doc
Dear Empire [this is your beastiary].doc
Dear Empire [this is your breeze].doc
Dear Empire [this is your church].doc
Dear Empire [this is your city].doc
Dear Empire [this is your light].doc
Dear Empire [this is your Oceania].doc
Dear Empire [this is your Photo in the absence of flowers].doc
Dear Empire [this is your photo].doc
Dear Empire [this is your product].doc
Dear Empire [this is your purview].doc
Dear Empire [this is your rival].doc
Dear Empire [this is your sanitarium].doc
Dear Empire [this is your subject].doc
Dear Empire [this is your tomb].doc
Dear Empire [this is your tremor].doc
Dear Empire [this is your wall].doc
Dear Empire [this is your weather].doc
Dear Empire [this is your window].doc
Dear Empire [thse are your phantoms].doc
Dear Empire[these are your dissidents].docx
Dear Empire[these are your spires].doc
Labyrinth 1.doc
Labyrinth 2.doc
Labyrinth 3.doc
Labyrinth 4.doc
Labyrinth 5.doc
Labyrinth 6.doc
Labyrinth 7.doc
Labyrinth 8.doc
Labyrinth 9.doc
Labyrinth 10.doc
Labyrinth 11.doc
Labyrinth 12.doc
Labyrinth 13.doc
Labyrinth 14.doc

Labyrinth 15.doc


Honestly, I'm thinking the Camera and Labyrinth sequences are their own thing together. So that leaves 78 "Dear Empire" poems. It's not a problem for me to write them. It's a problem for me to figure out a way to end the project, and it might just be that I don't finish this thing . . . ever.


Current Spin: