Department of English

Distinguished poet Lisa Olstein joins Creative Writing faculty

Mon, April 1, 2013
Lisa Olstein
Lisa Olstein

The Department of English at the Unversity of Texas at Austin welcomes distinguished poet Lisa Olstein to the Creative Writing faculty.  She will begin teaching for the New Writer's Project in the Fall semester, 2013.

Olstein grew up near Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her first book of poems, Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), won the Copper Canyon Press Hayden Carruth Award. Olstein is also the author of the poetry collection Lost Alphabet (2009), named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal, and Little Stranger, forthcoming in May from Copper Canyon. Her poems have appeared in the The Nation, Iowa ReviewDenver QuarterlyLIT, and other journals. She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

You can find a glowing review of the forthcoming Little Stranger at The Huffington Post.

"Dear One Absent This Long While"

Lisa Olstein
It has been so wet stones glaze in moss;
everything blooms coldly.
 
I expect you. I thought one night it was you
at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs,
 
you in a shiver of light, but each time
leaves in wind revealed themselves,
 
the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak.
We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove.
 
In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires
over which young men and women leapt.
 
June efforts quietly.
I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall
 
so even if spring continues to disappoint
we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain.
 
I have new gloves and a new hoe.
I practice eulogies. He was a hawk
 
with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs
of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.
 
Yours is the name the leaves chatter
at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

 

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    University of Texas at Austin
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