Oliver de la Paz

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Poet Laureate of Worcester, Massachusetts, 2023–2025

Oliver de la Paz is the author of six poetry collections: The Diaspora Sonnets (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2023), which was long-listed for the 2023 National Book Award in Poetry; The Boy in the Labyrinth (University of Akron Press, 2019), a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry; Post Subject: A Fable (University of Akron Press, 2014); Requiem for the Orchard (University of Akron Press 2010), winner of the Akron Prize for Poetry chosen by Martín Espada; Furious Lullaby (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007); and Names Above Houses (Southern Illinois University Press, 2001). With Stacey Lynn Brown he coedited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press, 2012).

Of his work, Rodney Jones writes, “Oliver de la Paz has the strength and wisdom to step lightly with the heaviest burdens. He is stunningly good.”

De la Paz is the recipient of multiple Pushcart Prizes. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Artist Trust, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

A founding member of Kundiman and a co-chair on its advisory board, De la Paz is an associate professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. De la Paz was the Guest Editor for Poem-a-Day in October 2019 and is currently serving as the poet laureate of Worcester, Massachusetts, from 2023–25. He lives near Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2023, de la Paz received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship