Carolyn Oliver writes poems, prose, and hybrid forms. Her poetry has appeared in various publications such as Massachusetts Review, Indiana Review, Cincinnati Review, Radar Poetry Shenandoah Beloit Poetry Journal 32 Poems Southern Indiana Review Cherry Tree Plume Dialogist among many other journals.
Drury University was where she pledged Pi Beta Phi and later participated in Greek life at MU. According to her family, she loved Columbia and was part of its community; often taking children out of class to visit dental appointments.
Early Life and Education
Carolyn Oliver was raised as a Mormon in Salt Lake City. Throughout her time in church she has held leadership roles including serving as president of Young Women and Relief Society. Carolyn worked as a nurse at the University of Utah before later teaching at Salt Lake Community College.
She is known for her activism and pursuit of truth despite opposition from within her political base, such as confronting members of Jersey City council when they fired the city’s popular African American director of recreation or standing up for School Trustee Joan Terrell-Paige over controversial comments made.
Summer Blackmon has earned her Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education, with experience teaching children across various roles such as daycare/preschool teacher, homeschool tutoring, and school-based therapy. Her passion lies in helping students discover their individual educational paths while building meaningful relationships.
Carolyn Oliver is an outstanding writer, poet, editor, and reviewer. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble and The Alcestis Machine as well as three chapbooks; Mirror Factory Dearling Night Ocean (all self published). Additionally her work has appeared in Smartish Pace, Dialogist Magazine (USA), Massachusetts Review Shenandoah Ohio State University Press Cincinnati Review as well as in numerous other journals/anthologies.
Professionally, her career is distinguished by a deep dedication to community service. She serves on the boards of both Worcester County Poetry Association and Mapping Worcester in Poetry Project as well as providing manuscript consultations, coaching services and editorial services for many writers. Outside the professional realm she loves road trips, fall hikes, kayaking trips, farmers markets as well as dining at unique spots around the world.
Achievement and Honors
Tonight we honor a woman whose legacy of service extends far beyond Statesboro and Bulloch County. She has long advocated on behalf of those unable to express themselves freely while also acting as an integral participant at anti-violence demonstrations.
She is a poet and the author of two poetry collections: Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble (University of Utah Press 2022; Agha Shahid Ali Prize for Poetry) and The Alcestis Machine (Acre Books forthcoming 2024). Her poems have appeared in FIELD, the Massachusetts Review, Cincinnati Review Radar Poetry The Common Shenandoah Southern Indiana Review as well as winning awards such as Michigan Quarterly Review Goldstein Prize E E Cummings prize New England Poetry Club Writer’s Block Prize from Worcester Review among many others.
Carolyn found great joy in growing a garden each year, taking family trips, canning food for church events and hosting parties for her neighbors and friends. Both she and her husband were active members of their communities with Carolyn serving on the board of Dental Aid.
At Drury University she pledged Pi Beta Phi and continued membership when she transferred to MU. As an active alumna she has regularly attended gatherings and formed long-lasting friendships within this fraternity.
She has published her work in numerous literary publications such as the Massachusetts Review, Indiana Review, Cincinnati Review, Radar Poetry, Shenandoah, Beloit Poetry Journal 32 Poems Southern Indiana Review Cherry Tree Plume Dialogueist National Poetry Review as well as winning three prizes including Michigan Quarterly Review Goldstein Prize E. E. Cummings Prize from NEPC and Writer’s Block Poetry Prize.