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Cover image of poetry book After April Rain by Elizabeth Oxley.

Elizabeth Oxley's first poetry collection, After April Rain, contains twenty-nine poems and nine illustrations that chart the course of one "good girl" navigating landscapes of "long fields of skin," a drugstore "temple on [an] asphalt mount," "the weather in my grandmother’s living room…before her lungs rattle—not thunder / rolling closer but sunshine mobilizing to depart;" and a house, where outside "pink blooms erupt like wounds."

New York State Poet Laureate Alicia Ostriker says of Oxley's poetry: I don't know how Elizabeth Oxley manages to write poems that are fresh and dewy, and cruel and edgy, at the same time—but she does. She is keenly readable. More power to her.




Elizabeth Oxley

  • @ElizabethOxleyWrites
A model in ponytail posing beneath the word "Garage" painted on the side of a French building

Elizabeth Oxley completed the master's degree program in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. Originally from the U.S., she spent her undergraduate years at Franklin University Switzerland, Brown University, and Georgetown University and has attended writing workshops at Aspen Summer Words (Aspen, Colorado); Napa Valley Writers' Conference (Napa Valley, California), Lighthouse Writers Workshop (Denver, Colorado), and Key West Literary Seminar (Key West, Florida).


Elizabeth's poems and writing have appeared in literary journals, newspapers, and magazines. See below for sample poems, say hello via the contact form, or follow her on Insta. 

[reduced size for website] Elizabeth_080
  • @ElizabethOxleyWrites


The Montreal Poetry Prize Anthology 2022


'Country Dinners'

'Old Medicine'


After April Rain (Longship Press, 2021)

Poetry Collection

The Banyan Review

'The Ant Queen's Children'


'Shy Wife'


Crosswinds Poetry


Poetry Illuminated,

A Project of the Mill Valley Public Library

'Driving West, I Eat Swedish Fish'

Frontier Poetry

'Expelling Venus' & 'After April Rain'

Motherscope Magazine

'Underwater Photography'


Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac







The Poetry Review


Mary Jane's Farm

'A Reason to Crow'

Susquehanna Life

'Susquehanna Mine'

Boulder Weekly

'You Could Smell Humanity'

'Cuba at the Crossroads'

The Colorado Independent

'Poetry Lesson After the Las Vegas Shooting'


RTÉ Radio One - Dublin, Ireland

The Poetry Programme

with Olivia O'Leary

(Includes reading of 'My Aunt Posts Food Pictures on Instagram')

Audio recordings of all poems

from After April Rain (2021, Longship Press)

A black dog in collar sitting on a bed next to a small Eiffel Tower model


Sample Poems
A wall mural of a man and woman kissing, photographed at Black Sheep coffee shop in London



2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize

Ruminate literary magazine


2018 Brittany Noakes

Poetry Award

3rd Place

2015 The Poetry Society

National Poetry Competition

London, U.K.

2nd Place

2015 Denver County Fair Poetry Competition

(Lighthouse Writers Workshop)

Denver, Colorado


2014 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize

Ruminate literary magazine


2019 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry

California State University, Fresno

A Love Story
A young girl sits at a restaurant table with her chin in her hand


I remember it vividly: my childhood bedroom painted tutti-frutti pink. I don't recall why I chose that color. Me—a quiet, book-loving girl—next to all of that bold, confident pink. I spent a great deal of my time separated from it, sitting inside my walk-in closet, hanging out with a stack of books and a reading lamp. I kept company with Ramona Quimby, stories like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I dreamed of becoming a writer.

I studied literature in college but could never figure out how to manifest my writing dream. One after another, things got in the way. got in my way. I'd almost given up by the time I met John. My neighbor in a western mountain town, John was an atmospheric physicist and accomplished poet. He suggested we meet to talk about our poetry. I still don't know why he thought I had any to my name. Yes, I loved writing and reading. But poetry? It was daunting and unfamiliar terrain.


We set a date to get together. I procrastinated writing. At last, I sat down at my kitchen table and tried my hand at a poem. I felt like a fraud. Soon, however, something else took over. I felt pulled into poetry's tide. I wrote one small poem and then several more. In the days that followed, I couldn't get enough. It felt like poetry was calling, and I had no choice but to answer. It felt a lot like love. 


Since that time, I've been fortunate to cross paths and form friendships with other poets. I've also benefited from the generous instruction of various workshop instructors. While I primarily write poetry, I'm also saying hello to fiction. Whatever form my writing takes, it's the mystery of language I adore. If you do, too, please drop me a line below. I'd love to hear from you.


A brightly spraypainted wall in the Casco Viejo neighborhood of Panama City, Panama


Thanks for getting in touch!

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