Lisa Olstein's debut collection Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Copper Canyon, 2006) won the Hayden Carruth Award, and her second, Lost Alphabet (Copper Canyon, 2009), was named a "Best Poetry Book of the Year" by Library Journal. She is the former Associate Director of MFA program for Poets and Writers at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she cofounded the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts & Action. She currently teaches in the New Writers Project, the MFA program based in the Department of English at UT Austin. (Author photo by David Goodrich)
The poems in Little Stranger, Lisa Olstein’s third collection, reverberate with twinned realities: wonder and terror, beauty and difficulty, celebration and lament. Adventuring through worlds within worlds, the poet engages with science, art, war, and motherhood, and rolls out a child’s encyclopedia of animals—tiger, ibex, barasingha—while exploring the tenuousness of attachment and the rapidly shifting nature of knowledge. In poems that are erudite, lyrical, and above all empathetic, Olstein illuminates both the magic and the sorrow in our world.
“Is she just smarter about syntax, more articulate about human drama, more imaginative about eeriness, more insightful about sadness, more capable of turning a novel phrase, more engaging a storyteller than nearly all the rest of her peers? Well, yes.”
—The Huffington Post
"Beautifully crafted and unsettling in just the right way, these poems track a poet of growing importance."
Copper Canyon Press