Daniel A. Olivas
"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
of Luis Alberto Urrea,
Gabriel García Márquez
and Sandra Cisneros."
—High Country News
Daniel A. Olivas is the author of nine books and editor of two anthologies. His latest books are The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press, 2017), and Crossing the Border: Collected Poems (Pact Press, 2017). His books also include the novel, The Book of Want (University of Arizona Press, 2011), the landmark anthology, Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press, 2008), and Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews (San Diego State University Press, 2014).

Widely anthologized, Daniel has written for many publications including The New York TimesEl Paso TimesLos Angeles TimesLos Angeles Review of BooksHuffington PostHigh Country NewsLAObserved, and Jewish Journal. His writing has appeared many literary journals including PANKPilgrimageFairy Tale ReviewMacGuffinand The Prairie Schooner Blog. He shares blogging duties on La Bloga which is dedicated to Chicanx and Latinx literature.

Daniel's first full-length play, Waiting for Godínez, was selected for the Playwrights' Arena Summer Reading Series in Los Angeles, and was performed on July 5, 2020, via a Zoom reading directed by Dr. Daphnie Sicre. Daniel was also selected for Circle X Theatre's inaugural Evolving Playwrights Group where he will be adapting his novel The Book of Want for the stage with a planned reading in 2021.

Daniel, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, grew up near the Pico-Union and Koreatown neighborhoods of Los Angeles. He now makes his home in Southern California 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.

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◙ The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press, fall 2017)
◙ Crossing the Border: Collected Poems (Pact Press, 2017)
◙ The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016), co-editor
◙ Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature
through Essays and Interviews (San Diego State University Press, 2014)
◙ The Book of Want: A Novel (University of Arizona Press, 2011)
◙ Anywhere But L.A.: Stories (Bilingual Press, 2009)
◙ Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press, 2008), editor
◙ Benjamin and the Word (Arte Público Press, 2005)
◙ Devil Talk: Stories (Bilingual Press, 2004)
◙ Assumption and Other Stories (Bilingual Press, 2003)
◙ The Courtship of María Rivera Peña (Silver Lake Publishing, 2000)

ANTHOLOGIES (contributor)

◙ Both Sides: Stories from the Border (Polis Books, 2020)
 Speak & Speak Again (Pact Press, 2017)
◙ LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press, 2016)
◙ Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner (Black Lawrence Press, 2015)
◙ New California Writing 2012 (Heyday Books, 2012)
◙ You Don't Have a Clue (Arte Público Press, 2011)
◙ Sudden Fiction Latino (W.W. Norton, 2010)
◙ Hint Fiction (W. W. Norton, 2010)
◙ Mamas and Papas (City Works Press, 2010)
◙ A Poet's Haggadah (CreateSpace, 2008)
◙ Hate Crimes (Thomson/Greenhaven, 2007)
◙ You Have Time for This (Ooligan Press, 2007)
◙ Love to Mama (Lee & Low Books, 2001)
◙ Fantasmas (Bilingual Press, 2001)
◙ Nemeton: A Fables Anthology (Silver Lake Publishing, 2000)

Released September 19, 2017
​168 pp., paper (ISBN: 978-0-8165-3562-0), $16.95

“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."

Kirkus Reviews

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."

Foreword Reviews

(Additional reviews will appear on News page.)
Released November 17, 2017
​94 pp., paper (ISBN: 978-0991261284), $9.50

“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.

—Patty Seyburn, author of Hilarity: Poems

(Additional reviews will appear on News page.)