Today's poem is "How I Learned Quiet"
from Requiem for the Orchard

The University of Akron Press

Oliver de la Paz was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in Ontario, Oregon. He has a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Arizona State University. He currently teaches creative writing at Western Washington University. A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, his work has appeared in journals such as Quarterly West, The Asian Pacific American Journal, North American Review, and elsewhere. His book of prose and verse, Names Above Houses, was a winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series and published by Southern Illinois University Press. His second book, Furious Lullaby, is the editor’s selection for 2007, published by Southern Illinois University Press.

Other poems by Oliver de la Paz in Verse Daily:
February 24, 2009:   "Self-Portrait with Taxidermy" "In my anatomy studies, I expected..."
December 24, 2007:   "Prayer Essay" "I was unusually ahead of my time with my own..."

Books by Oliver de la Paz:

Other poems on the web by Oliver de la Paz:
"Dear Empire"
Seven poems
Four poems
"Requiem for the Orchard"
"Camera 4"
"Last Days"
"Nocturne with a Dictator"
"My Dearest Regret,"
"Aubade with a Thistle Bush Holding Six Songs"
"Dear Empire,"
"Hour of Dawn"

Oliver de la Paz's Website.

Oliver de la Paz's Blog.

Oliver de la Paz According to Wikipedia.

Oliver de la Paz According to Wikipedia.

About Requiem for the Orchard:

"These are vivid, visceral poems about coming of age in a place 'where the Ferris Wheel/ was the tallest thing in the valley,' where a boy would learn 'to fire a shotgun at nine and wring a chicken’s neck/ with one hand by twirling the bird and whipping it straight like a towel.' Looking back, the poet wrestles with the meaning of labor in the apple orchards and 'the filthy dollars we’d wad into our pockets,' or the rites of passage that included sinking a knife into the flank of a dead chestnut horse. In spite of such hardscrabble cruelties—or because of them—there is also a real tenderness in these poems, the revelations of bliss driving along an empty highway 'like opening a heavy book, / letting the pages feather themselves and finding a dried flower.' In line after line, poem after poem, there is an immersion in the realm of the senses. The poet has a gift for rendering his world in cinematic images: a ten-gallon hat on his head in the second grade is 'an upside down chandelier;' carnival workers 'snarl into the darkness on their borrowed Harleys.' In short, these poems are the stuff of life itself, ugly and beautiful, wherever or whenever we happen to live it."
—Martín Espada

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