Oct 6, 2022 • 1HR 0M

William O'Daly

Open in playerListen on);
Episode details

On the 10/5/22 edition of Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour:

Dr. Andy’s esteemed guest is poet, translator, and editor William O’Daly! Tune in to hear about O’Daly’s path as a translator, how translation broadens our poetic landscape, and how we engage with poems physically as well as mentally. O’Daly shares excellent work from his recent first full-length book of poems, The New Gods.

Currently residing in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, William O’Daly has worked as a college professor, a literary and technical editor and writer, and an instructional designer, and he has received national and regional honors for literary editing and instructional design. In 2016 he was recognized by the State of California for his contributions to the California Water Plan.

O’Daly was raised in the San Fernando Valley and frequented the backpacking trails of the southern Sierra Nevada. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, as an economics major, but began to study literature and write poetry before the end of his freshman year. At UCSB he studied with poets Kenneth Rexroth, Alan Stephens, Fredrick Turner, and John Ridland, as well as modernist critic Hugh Kenner; under friend and mentor Sam Hamill, he served as assistant editor of Spectrum magazine. 

In 1972, O’Daly left UCSB for Denver, Colorado, where he co-founded Copper Canyon Press. His published works include eight books of translation of the late-career and posthumous poetry of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda (Still Another Day, The Separate Rose, Winter Garden, The Sea and the Bells, The Yellow Heart, The Book of Questions, The Hands of Day, and World’s End), and Neruda’s first volume, Book of Twilight — all published by Copper Canyon. Book of Twilight was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Translation of Poetry for 2018. 

Books of his own poems include The Whale in the Web (Copper Canyon), as well as Yarrow and Smoke, Water Ways (a collaboration with JS Graustein), and The Road to Isla Negra, the latter three published by Folded Word Press. He was profiled by NBC news correspondent Mike Leonard for The Today Show, as a finalist for the 2006 Quill Award in Poetry. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Fellow, his poems, translations, essays, and reviews have been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies. With co-author Han-ping Chin, he wrote a historical novel, This Earthly Life, set amid the fascinating and deadly Chinese Cultural Revolution. This Earthly Life was selected as a “Finalist” in Narrative Magazine’s 2009 Fall Story Contest.

Find out more about Dr. Andy's Poetry Night Reading Series in Davis, California by visiting http://www.poetryindavis.com. Invite your friends to sign up for the mailing list. To learn more about Dr. Andy’s tiny media fiefdom, visit his weekly newsletter at https://andyjones.substack.com and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andyojones.