Oliver Baez Bendorf is a trans, queer, Latinx poet, essayist, teacher, and visual artist, raised in Iowa. His poetry has been recognized with fellowships and prizes from Lambda Literary Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Poetry Society of America. In 2016, he read his poems at The White House as an invited reader for the Trans Community Briefing. He received his MFA in Poetry from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he held the Martha Meier-Renk Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in Poetry and was awarded the David & Jean Milofsky Prize in Creative Writing, and his BA in English Literature from the University of Iowa, where he was a Matthew Shepard Scholar. He also holds an MA in Library and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He is the author of The Spectral Wilderness, winner of the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize, selected by Mark Doty, and named a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, as well as to New American Poets by Natalie Diaz. Individual poems have appeared widely, including in Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Black Warrior Review, The Feminist Wire, Indiana Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and elsewhere, and have been anthologized in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and translated into Russian.
His visual poetry has been featured by the Adirondack Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Hobart, The Rumpus, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Thrush Poetry Journal. His activist work as a founding editor of #PulseOrlandoSyllabus has been featured in outlets such as Chronicle of Higher Ed, Slate, and WLRN Miami.
Bendorf’s interests include poetry-comics, queer poetics, ‘zines, vintage campers, and collective liberation. He has taught at a selection of institutions, including University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mount Holyoke College, and 826DC. He was recently awarded the 2017-2018 Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Beginning Fall 2018, he will join the English Department at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, as Assistant Professor of Poetry.