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 Patrick Rosal (2)

Welcome, October

I'm back from my various comings and goings. I had a wonderful reading at Willamette University. A big thank you to Scott Nadelson and the rest of the English Department. You were all wonderful hosts and your students were lovely!

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Sabbatical feels weird. It feels like I'm forgetting something. Like I've left something on the roof of my car, driven into town, and realized that I had left a carton of milk from the grocery store miles after it was too late.

I feel strangely unsettled. I've been working. I've been working very hard. I've completed one project, I'm at the mid-way point of another, and I've been busily writing reviews. But still . . . I think I miss the face time with students. The comraderie in the hallways with my colleagues. I miss checking my mailbox. I miss the little things.

I've been getting department e-mails about this and that and I totally feel left out of the conversation. And you know what . . . school's only been in session for less than two weeks.

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Speaking of finished projects, I "finished" my "Dear Empire" prose poems project . . . at least for now. I went ahead and sent it to my publisher to see what she thinks. Off the top of my head, it may be too long. It's 101 pages in length--and that's just the poetry content. The front matter, etc. adds another 7 pages.

Last week, I was working against a deadline. I wanted to finish working on the project before I left for Oregon because I didn't want to think about it anymore. I can't imagine what more I could do with it at this point. What I found was the work was coming too easy and therefore, my judgment of the work felt impaired. I couldn't figure out whether what I was writing was any good and therefore I ended up hating everything. So that's when I realized that my judgment of the work was drastically impaired and that I needed new eyes on it.

Now, what I'm excited about are the Labyrinth poems and the Nocturnes. I feel like I need to jettison the "Camera" poems that I currently have in the Nocturnes collection because of their abrupt stylistic shift. We'll see what comes of it.

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Happy that some more "Labyrinth" poems got taken over the weekend. I need to be better about sending work out. I've been far more interested in generating work than disseminating it.

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I'm in the process of reading Patrick Rosal's new book Boneshepherds for my next review on The Lit Pub. So far, it's fantastic. I'm really intrigued by its architecture, which is much different than the other stuff I've read of Patrick's.

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Current Spin:

Allegory, Writing Retreats, Garden Plots, and Other Musings

I've been writing in the allegorical mode for many years now, and I wondered about this while I was having an e-mail conversation with a poet friend who commented that he could never write as anyone but himself. I suppose it has to do with my own personality. I'm not that comfortable writing as myself. Other poets do it quite well and can use the self to create an allegorical mode, but I just find my own life too boring. The one notable exception to this trend in my "collected works" is Requiem for the Orchard. That collection was a big departure for me in terms of my favored narrative mode. I don't think I'd ever be able to duplicate something like that, but I also want to clarify that there are some allegorical poems in that collection. And that's also not to say that some of the narrative moments in that book aren't written with some poetic license.

Basically, I hate writing about myself. Artistic statements or statements that trumpet my accomplishments are, frankly, awful things for me. This translates itself into my poetic modes as well.

My confessions are allusions.

And so all these prose poems written as allegories as well as all these nocturnes.

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Sarah, Aimee, Joseph, Vikas, Patrick, and Jennifer are going to Millay. I'm SO jealous that they're going, but I couldn't make it work financially. Hopefully they get some writing as well as some serious play accomplished up there.

I've never really been to a writing retreat. Although I had the opportunity to use a house for a month after receiving my GAP grant, I couldn't stay for prolonged periods of time because of childcare issues. Ultimately, I'm not 100% sure it's something that would work for me, given my short attention span and my hyperactivity. I'd probably do other people's laundry or knock on the other fellows cabin doors bugging the hell out of 'em.

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We're putting together a vegetable garden. I've got pictures of our plot, but right now my internet connection is slow. I'll try to post a picture of our cleared land some time today.

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Stacey and I have been working with U. of Akron Press for covers. We'll post some ideas soon! A lot of good cover possibilities out there. Can't wait to show you!

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This has surely been one of the coldest Summers I've ever experienced. We've been having highs in the mid 60's which is perfectly comfortable for me. I'm at the point where I don't do well with extreme heat. I feel sorry for you folks out in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

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Current Spin: