"Olivas is adept at establishing character in a sentence or two; he creates an image, a moment of self-deception, in which we come to know these characters intimately and easily imagine their entire lives..."
—The Los Angeles Times
"Daniel Olivas has been steadily developing into one of the primary voices of Latino literature's new wave." —Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird's Daughter
"Olivas is a literary marvel." —Shelf Awareness
"Daniel A. Olivas is the unofficial literary ambassador of Latino L.A."
—My Latino Voice
"Olivas is emerging as an important voice in the social and magical realist tradition
Widely anthologized, Daniel has written for many publications including The New York Times, El Paso Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post, High Country News, LAObserved, and Jewish Journal. His writing has appeared many literary journals including PANK, Pilgrimage, Fairy Tale Review, MacGuffin, New Madrid, and The Prairie Schooner Blog. He shares blogging duties on La Bloga which is dedicated to Chicanx and Latinx literature.
Daniel, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, grew up near the Pico-Union and Koreatown neighborhoods of Los Angeles. He now makes his home northeast of downtown Los Angeles with his wife. They have an adult son who is a proud graduate of UCLA. Daniel received his degree in English literature from Stanford University and law degree from UCLA. By day, he is an attorney with the California Department of Justice in the Public Rights Division.
“A sharp, smart collection punctuated with inventiveness and wit: in the ongoing effort to depict Los Angeles as lit by something other than the glare of Hollywood, Daniel A. Olivas reminds us that the vast topography of the entire city and its neighborhoods are vibrant with their own unique electricities.”
—Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark
“Comic, wry, very Angeleno, and essential Southern California.”
—Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here
“The short story is a delicate artifact and Olivas knows it: the right balance is achieved only if what is said is in harmony with what is left unmentioned. His Los Angeles is not only from bottom up but from east to west and from south to north.”
—Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words
"Assured and perceptive, offering a view of another Southland from Chandler’s and Didion’s."
Olivas's "bold insistence on leaving a few seams visible, a few threads frayed—even on pulling the rug away entirely—makes the book resound as a fascinating exploration of both the art of storytelling and the ways in which fiction echoes the messiness of life."
“The poetry of Daniel Olivas rings distinctly wise, sensitive, and true. All are welcomed here, from the woman writing to her lover in prison, to the victims of a tragic flood. Cross over and listen to those who suffer and survive, and to those who protest and persevere—each of them ‘speaking their own special language.’”
—Rigoberto González, author of Other Fugitives and Other Strangers
“These haunting narrative poems by Daniel Olivas are rooted in the heart of his beloved Los Angeles. They stretch across that infinite, mythical place called the Borderlands and plant themselves firmly in the unchartered territory of a new, great American literature. In this extraordinary collection, we hear a new-old America singing.”
—Himilce Novas, author of Mangos, Bananas and Coconuts
“Daniel Olivas’s poems are necessary things: they tell stories that need to be told, render scenes that need to be seen, isolate moments that need to be examined in all their beauty and suffering. Actor and victim, witness and innocent, all are represented in Olivas’s powerful first collection, engaging the reader in the act of crossing over via the tools that language possesses when in skillful hands.”