This Texas-sized website is a celebration and a collection of all works by Texan Dave Oliphant, author, editor, poet, translator, and writer.
Travel alongside this Texas writer as he explores countries on three continents. In 1988, Dave and his family traveled from Texas to east-coast States and back through the South. In 1989, as part of a program for teachers of Spanish, Dave visited Spain and met a number of poets and collected their poetry for a bilingual anthology published the following year. In 1996 and in 1997, he and his wife María visited England and Scotland, in 1999 Brazil, and between 2006 and 2011, her native Chile. In 2006, Dave taught a course on Chilean poetry for a group of University of Texas students who traveled with him and María to her land of celebrated poets, where the students met the world-renowned antipoet Nicanor Parra, as well as younger poets and literary critics. On their visit in 2009, Dave and María made a special trip within Chile to the archipelago of Chiloé, where he met a number of Chilote poets. As in all Dave’s travels, he kept notes on his meetings with writers, his visits to museums, and his experiences of the places and their cultures. Rather than a travelogue, his notes are more responses to the people, literature, artwork, and music encountered in or evoked by the places he visited. In addition to his prose meditations on his travel experiences, he wrote at times drafts of poems that later appeared in some of his fourteen poetry collections.
Reading and writing poetry
Music, especially Classical Music and Jazz
Playing the piano
Rudy, his feline companion, begs to be named among his favorite things.
On Dave’s converted player piano, purchased from The Piano Barn in Austin, two granddaughters started taking lessons. Dave has tried for decades to perform his beloved Bach pieces without making the same mistakes. Above the piano: His portrait by longtime friend Jon Bracker, from 1961; María as a very serious student with her pen and copybook, circa 1954; and fifty years later in 2004 as Dave's movie star.
From student to teacher to editor to poet. Austin is "Deep in the Heart" of it all.
In the capital city Dave attended the University of Texas, met lifelong friends, became editor of Riata, the student literary magazine, earned the M.A., in Illinois the Ph.D., and in 1976 returned to Austin with María, their son Darío and daughter Elisa, taught at UT, edited a scholarly journal, then served as coordinator of the Freshman Seminars Program from 1997 until his retirement in 2006.
The Library Chronicle and Special Book Editions
As editor of publications at the Ransom Center, Dave produced over fifty issues of The Library Chronicle (founded in 1944), including special-focus numbers on such subjects as James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, the Bebop Revolution in Words and Music, and the University's Benson Latin American Collection.
HARBINGERS OF BOOKS TO COME: A TEXAN’S LITERARY LIFE
“Dave Oliphant’s voice —as poet, critic, teacher, editor, publisher, historian of Texas jazz, and translator of Chilean poetry—has been a significant one in Texas letters for over forty years. With detail and clarity this new memoir, Harbingers of Books to Come, traces the young Fort Worth boy’s odyssey to Beaumont, Austin, Mexico City, Santiago, and beyond and demonstrates the fullness of a literary life.”
- Mark Busby, Past President, Texas Institute of Letters; author of Fort Benning Blues
A collection of essays, articles, book reviews, and other writings on Texas poets published in magazines and books between 1973 and 2013.
“When it comes to Texas literature, there has never been a greater champion of the state’s poetry than Dave Oliphant. . . . [He] has established himself firmly as the most knowledgeable and vigorous cataloguer of Texas poets and their work.”—Roger Jones, in Texas Books in Review (2001)
“Oliphant . . . has dutifully track[ed] the writers great and small, and is the assiduous reader of each text he writes about.”
Paul Christensen, in Texas Writers’ Newletter (1983)
"Oliphant has contributed significantly to the development of poetry in Texas, and he is not slowing down."—Lyman Grant, The Texas Observer (1999)
List of Translated Works:
The exhibit featured Dave’s trumpet he played with The Technicians, the Lamar college dance band, and on Take Four, an album recorded by the band in 1958. Also on display was his prize-winning poem entitled “An Afternoon of Debussy,” published in the Lamar literary magazine Pulse, which has been publishing student writing since its inception in 1958. Dave's essay on American composer Charles Ives was published in the inaugural issue of Pulse and was his first publication.
Dave chose TCU, in his Cowtown hometown, to house his
Prickly Pear Press 1973-1998
Dave Oliphant Bulk Papers 1970-2013
First opened in October 2013, Malvern Books
was an Austin bookstore owned by Joe Bratcher, founder of the bilingual translation magazine, The Dirty Goat, and publisher of Host Publications (founded in 1988), which published Dave’s poetry collections, Memories of Texas Towns & Cities and Backtracking, and also his translated works: Figures of Speech by Enrique Lihn; Love Hound by Oliver Welden; and After-Dinner Declarations by Nicanor Parra.
Established in 2013 by Pamela Booton, Lowell Mick White, and Diane Wilson, Alamo Bay Press has published an eclectic range of books by local and international writers and artists. Alamo Bay has published or issued revised editions of six of Dave’s poetry collections: María’s Book; The Cowtown Circle; Austin: a Poem; KD: a Jazz Biography; The Hero’s Fall I Fell For; and Memories of Texas Towns & Cities.