Photographer Credit: Caitlin Barry
Oliver Baez Bendorf is the author of Advantages of Being Evergreen (forthcoming Fall 2019), winner of Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Poetry Book Competition, and The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U., 2015), finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. His work has been featured widely and can be found in recent and forthcoming issues of American Poetry Review, Buzzfeed, The Feminist Wire, Poem-a-Day, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The Rumpus, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and has also been translated into Russian. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Lambda Literary, Vermont Studio Center, and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing. He In 2016 he read his poems at The White House for the Trans Community Briefing. His activist work as a founding editor of #PulseOrlandoSyllabus has been featured in outlets such as Chronicle of Higher Ed, Slate, and WLRN Miami. Born and raised in Iowa, he is an assistant professor of creative writing at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Advantages of Being Evergreen, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2019
The Spectral Wilderness, Kent State University Press, 2015
The White House (2016), Bryant Park Reading Series (2017), Smith College (2016), Fall For The Book Festival (2016), Indiana University (2015), Woodland Pattern (2015), Live from Prairie Lights (2014)
“What gorgeous and ravenous rackets Oliver Bendorf’s poems are made of; what a yearning and beautiful heart. ‘Lift a geode from the ground and crack me open,’ he writes, which is more or less what these poems do for me: break me open to what might sparkle and blaze, what might glisten and burn inside. The Spectral Wilderness is a wonderful book.” —Ross Gay
“Bendorf’s poems give us all we have ever wanted, to wake up and feel that the body we are in is ours, that the hands on the ends of our wrists―our body’s gates of tenderness―are large enough to hold in them all the things we have desired… In poem after poem he builds and rebuilds a body, a story, a desire that are at once familiar and strange, capable of brightness like any headlight but also capable of losing that light in their brokenness which makes us love them even more.”―Natalie Diaz
Oliver is available for poetry readings, writing workshops, anthology requests, talks, and other events. Please fill out this brief form with as much information as possible. Oliver has experience working with youth, LGBTQ+, Latinx, adult, student, and librarian groups, and has read and taught nationally. His book Advantages of Being Evergreen will be published September 2019 from Cleveland State University Poetry Center.