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 Sabbatical (3)

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:

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.

Post Kundiman Retreat and Tabula Rasa

I've been back from the Kundiman Summer Retreat for over a week now, but in many ways this has been the most emotionally exhausting retreat. I'm so amazed and humbled by the courage of the 23 fellows who attended the retreat this year. I want to thank them for coming to Kundiman, ready to challenge themselves and each other. I know I was challenged and I know I come back to my regular life a more invested writer and father.

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I'll post more pictures when I'm on a faster network. Curse you Hughes.net.

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Like I said above, I've been recovering from the retreat, and by recovering I mean catching up on actual work. I've been in the process of reading proposals as well as writing a book review. All of these things have July deadlines, but I couldn't really work on them at Fordham because I was busy buying party favors, taking pictures, etc.. Now that all my professional responsibilities outside of my own writing have been seen to, I can get back to the business at hand.

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I had dinner with my colleagues the other night. My colleague and friend, Bruce Beasley, talked to me about how to manage a sabbatical. He mentioned how he becomes a little compulsive on sabbaticals and that working out of compulsion might be something to try.

So I'm going to try it. I've mapped out a calendar for myself. Summer will definitely be about writing, but also about some stewardship. I have to take care of some of A Face to Meet the Faces, as we have some July deadlines. (For those of you who read this blog and are a contributor to the anthology, please submit your permissions form!) I've decided to leave my weekends free and spend my weekdays writing, since both the kids will be in childcare (N at my parents and L at a daycare). That pretty much leaves me with a whole morning, Tabula Rasa. 

I imagine it'd be quite easy to waste a sabbatical by watching television and playing video games (I do both of these things), but I must stay on point.

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I'm trying to wrap my head around the new True Blood season. Huh?

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Current Spin:

 

Summer Saccharine. I don't know why this song came up in my head, but there's mention of summer, so I thought it was appropriate. ;-)