ADVANTAGES OF BEING EVERGREEN

Poetry. Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2019.

Purchase: CSU Poetry / SPD / local bookstore

Winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Book Poetry Competition

An SPD #1 Bestseller
“Latinx Fall Reads 2019” — Boricua Reads
“Reads for the Rest of Us: September 2019” —Ms. Magazine
"Fall Into This Book This Autumn” —Colorlines

Equal part prayer and potion and survival guide, Oliver Baez Bendorf’s remarkable Advantages of Being Evergreen is an essential book for our time and for all time… Baez Bendorf is making a future grammar for the moment all of our vessels are free and held. I am living for the world these poems anticipate… This is a book of the earth’s abiding wonder. And the body’s unbreakable ability to bloom. —Gabrielle Calvocoressi

This book… offers a topography of the body—each poem, a dropped pin, locating across a broad intricate landscape: memory, hunger, tenderness, grief, and fear. To read these poems is to trust the momentum of tributaries or the distance traveled when the trail is full of switchbacks. This work is an exercise of faith. —Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Written from and with death, the poems in Advantages of Being Evergreen offer elegies; they utter prayers that ask our dead to stay; they come as breath constrained and animated by a form that narrates an excess of natures, an excess of rivers that interrupt this book as the poet ponders the impossible question of what it means to be home. Here the body is a shared condition. The body is language. It changes. It resists. It mourns. It reincarnates with the “teeth of our dead around our neck.” —Daniel Borzutzky

A brief collection of woodsy lyrics… imagining sanctuary for a body heavy with memory, catalyzed into change, and charged with desire. —Chicago Review

It is in your hands, now just open it, anywhere, it is so good! … Oliver Baez Bendorf returns poetry to its origins of magic. —CAConrad

Excerpts


THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO X

Seven Kitchens Press, Summer 2019
Selected for the Rane Arroyo Chapbook Series

Excerpts in: Dreginald, Hobart, Heavy Feather Review, Gertrude

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THE SPECTRAL WILDERNESS

Poetry. Kent State U., 2015.

Purchase: Kent State University Press / Amazon

Winner of the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize

Finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry

Named a Best Poetry Book of 2014 by Entropy Magazine

Named a Spectacular Book of 2015 by Split This Rock

Astonishing. —The Literary Review

It’s wonder that subsumes these poems… written into being (into becoming) by a maker from whom we’ll continue to be amazed and enchanted. —Lambda Literary Review

What gorgeous and ravenous rackets Oliver Bendorf’s poems are made of; what a yearning and beautiful heart. ‘Lift a geode from the ground and crack me open,’ he writes, which is more or less what these poems do for me: break me open to what might sparkle and blaze, what might glisten and burn inside. The Spectral Wilderness is a wonderful book. —Ross Gay

It’s a joy. . .to come nearer to a realm of experience little explored in American poetry, the lives of those who are engaged in the complex project of transforming their own gender… Oliver Bendorf writes from a paradoxical, new-world position: the adult voice of a man who has just appeared in the world. A man emergent, a man in love, alive in the fluid instability of any category. —Mark Doty, from the introduction

In poem after poem he builds and rebuilds a body, a story, a desire that are at once familiar and strange, capable of brightness like any headlight but also capable of losing that light in their brokenness which makes us love them even more. —Natalie Diaz

An otherworldly pastoral, a queer ecology endlessly transformed by possibility, grief, and the unruly wanting of our names and bodies. Stunningly lyrical and beautifully theoretical, The Spectral Wilderness is an invitation one cannot turn down. —Stacey Waite