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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Entries in Mule (2)

Understandings

Spent some time with Shane McCrae's Mule this morning, and it broke my heart. I'll be writing a review/endorsement of it at greater length, for The Lit Pub later this month. I'll say a few things about it--syntactically, it requires some close listening, but shouldn't all conversations that are worthwhile?

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Concerning my own work, I spent all morning watching Sportscenter and thinking about my "Nocturne" manuscript. I've come to a certain limit of understanding about the project. I've come to the realization that the "Camera" prose poems that I had written are not a part of the labyrinth sequence at all. Nor are they a part of the "Dear Empire" series. Rather, they are collaborations with the "Nocturne" series. I've realized this as I've continued to work on more ekphrastic poems dealing with the grotesque and the monstrous.

Pouring over photography books like The Body, A Morning's Work, The Bone House, and a lot of Rosamund Purcell's pieces, I've pieced together some correlation between the earlier war "Nocturnes" and what's taking place in the newer work. And somehow, the "Camera" poems seem to be the transitional scaffolding necessary to make this manuscript "go."


Now, I have to contemplate just how they'll coincide in sequence, which is a whole other narrative. In many ways these poems have been a meditation on control. And what I mean by that is that the ekphrastic writing process can be dominated by the image and so the writer must exert their own control on the work. What captivates me about writing in this mode is my struggle to reiterate the image's action without duplicating the image too faithfully.

My understanding of the ekphrastic is that the written work should never be an imitation of the influence. An attempt at imitation will always result in the written work's failure.

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Speaking of homage . . .

6 Months to Get My Act Together

If you're on Facebook or Twitter, you know I posted that my sabbatical officially starts today. Traditionally, on the Monday before the start of the Fall academic quarter, my English department schedules a retreat/meeting which lasts from 9AM to 2PM. This is the first time in six years that I have not attended the retreat and it feels very strange. So much of my mental clock relies on the academic calendar to function.

I've managed to occupy my time, though. I'm still writing the daily drafts of poems and I'm doing lots and lots of housework. I cleaned out my office. I'll probably do more cleaning and consolidating of files. I do miss being in the halls and having my office door open. Having the occasional student drop by and check up on me . . .

But I've committed myself to keeping my head down and eyes forward. I've managed to knock off two of the items on my To Do list. I've been reading Mule. I think once Meredith starts school it'll be easy for me to parcel out the time to commit to longer projects. As I write this, I know that she's coming back from the store (Hi Meredith) and we'll have to do some housework together to usher in the new academic year.

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My dad is trying to convince my mom to get a Mac. :D

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Back to work.

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Current Spin:

Time to be a busy bee.