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.
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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.
PUBLICATIONS & RECORDINGS/RADIO
The Montreal Poetry Prize Anthology 2022
After April Rain (Longship Press, 2021)
The Banyan Review
A Project of the Mill Valley Public Library
'Driving West, I Eat Swedish Fish'
'Expelling Venus' & 'After April Rain'
Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac
The Poetry Review
'A Reason to Crow'
The Colorado Independent
'Poetry Lesson After the Las Vegas Shooting'
RTÉ Radio One - Dublin, Ireland
with Olivia O'Leary
(Includes reading of 'My Aunt Posts Food Pictures on Instagram')
from After April Rain (2021, Longship Press)
A LITTLE BIT OF POETRY
2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize
Ruminate literary magazine
2022 Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award
2018 Brittany Noakes
2015 The Poetry Society
2018 Book of Kells Creative Competition
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
2015 Denver County Fair Poetry Competition
(Lighthouse Writers Workshop)
2014 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize
Ruminate literary magazine
2019 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry
California State University, Fresno
A LOVE STORY
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. I 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.