Oliver de la Paz reads Laura Jensen's "Bad Boats"
Look. Last week we got into it over sonnets (which, it turns out, we know a lot more about than prosody!) before diving into a conversation with Oliver de la Paz about his work. This week he brought in Laura Jensen's much-beloved poem "Bad Boats". OLIVER DE LA PAZ is the author of five collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby (SIU Press 2001, 2007), and Requiem for the Orchard (U. of Akron Press 2010), winner of the Akron Prize for poetry chosen by Martìn Espada, Post Subject: A Fable (U. of Akron Press 2014), and the forthcoming book The Boy in the Labyrinth (U. of Akron Press 2019). He is the co-editor with Stacey Lynn Brown of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (U. of Akron Press 2012). He co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian American Poetry. A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award and a GAP Grant from Artist Trust, his work has appeared in journals like Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House, Poetry, and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University. Laura Jensen was born in Tacoma, Washington, where she continues to reside. She received her BA at the University of Washington and earned an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Jensen’s collections of poetry include Bad Boats (1977), Memory (1982), and Shelter (1985). Her work has been included in the anthologies In Tahoma’s Shadow: Poems from the City of Destiny (2009), Longman Contemporary Poetry (2nd ed.; 1989), and Northwest Variety: Personal Essays by Fourteen Regional Writers (1987). Jensen has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund.