Poetry. "The Civil War in poetry has not ended. The '50s sent us South to the Fugitives, the '60s North to the Beats and Deep Imagists. Now the South has sent its secret weapon across the line in the form of Olivia Stiffler. Beware! She can disguise herself as Emily Dickinson but is more like Adrienne Rich. Even in her Dickinson dress she is never whispering 'I am Nobody who are you?' but shouting about 'Wild nights, Wild nights,' knowing full well 'the sperm / That feeds the sacred light.' In her own words she is 'a school girl Medusa' with her 'door unlocked, / lights on, / arms open.'" —Fran Quinn
Olivia Stiffler lives in the Low Country of South Carolina, a landscape wholly unlike the hills of Missouri where she came of age and spent most of her work life as a freelance stenotype reporter, a job she does not regret leaving. Among her southern neighbors are a plethora of snakes, water fowl, alligators, and an occasional panther. She has one child, a daughter with multiple advanced degrees; one granddaughter, a preteen with an acute case of creativity who dislikes math as much as her grandma; and a second husband, a retired FBI agent who studies the market, plays bridge, and otherwise indulges her need for solitude. The couple are especially fond of ballroom dancing but have been known to veer into the Carolina shag from time to time. Paraphrasing poet Philip Larkin, Stiffler tells herself, and others, it is not necessary to be an Olympic writer to qualify for the game, but she is unsure if that line is an excuse for a less-than-stellar performance or encouragement to keep on writing poetry. Olivia has recently taken up classical guitar, thus probing the depths of humility, a state well known to poets. Her first book of poetry, OTHERWISE, WE ARE SAFE, was published by Dos Madres in 2013 and was selected by Writer's Almanac for its Best of 2014 list. HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT (Dos Madres Press, 2017) is her newest collection.
Author City: BLUFFTON, SC USA