Today's poem is "Tilting Toward Winter"
from The Cartographer’s Ink

NYQ Books

Okla Elliott is an Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. He also holds an MFA from Ohio State University. His nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, and translations have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, The Los Angeles Review, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, A Public Space, and Subtropics, among others. He is the author of the fiction collection From the Crooked Timber (Press 53, 2011). His novel, The Doors You Mark Are Your Own (co-authored with Raul Clement), is forthcoming in early 2015 from Dark House Press, and his book of translation, Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems of Jürgen Becker, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in late 2015.

Books by Okla Elliott:

Other poems on the web by Okla Elliott:
"Visiting Lenin's Tomb"
"That the Soul Discharges Her Passions upon False Objects"

Okla Elliott on Twitter.

About The Cartographer’s Ink:

"Okla Elliott possesses a capacious mind that here integrates his complicated and informative personal geography, philosophical investigation, a touching lyricism, and an attractive sense of humor. The result is a brilliant collection about 'the light here.' The light is caustic with war, striated with love, sharply focused on our past, present, and future. 'The Philosophy Student' persuades us that '[t]here is no convincing proof that we have any right to happiness,' but because thinking actually occurs in his poems, they are tremendously exciting—and happy-making—to read."
—Kelly Cherry

"What hunger there is in these poems! What powers of mind, yet a big heart as well, beating and beating. Wolves, Russian proverbs, an old woman in a Berlin flower shop whistling a song the poet doesn't know: anything and everything is fair game. Oh, and along the way, Okla Elliott pretty much reinvents the sestina&mdashyou try writing one that uses 'icky' and 'Solzhenitsyn' as end words."
—David Kirby

"'I wanted/the poetry of love// not the lowly prose/of inevitable and undeniable' writes Okla Elliott in The Cartographer's Ink. Seeking love and poetry, this impressive first book ranges across memory, history, geography, and philosophy with a wider imagination than any poet writing today. But it never gets lost in its erudition because the search for love and poetry becomes, in Elliott's hands, inevitable and undeniable."
—Andrew Hudgins

"Okla Elliott does not spare our sensitivities on any level. Like the embalmer's son, he will 'dangle the corpse to drain.' History, philosophy, and physics provide the landscape for adventure and interrogation alike; this journey in your hands, compressed trees and dusted ink by machine, evidences the human essence, 'Want is a stone / shaped under this pressure.'"
—Amy King

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