Late Empire

This timely yet elemental collection from Olstein (Little Stranger) unfolds where the exigencies and distractions of daily life brush up against the political, the ethical, and the existential... Olstein’s profound and attentive poems reveal her formal dexterity and knack for spotting modernity’s absurdities. – Publishers Weekly

Olstein here meditates on a world gone awry, limning in precise, beautifully modulated language both personal dislocation and the slings and arrows visited upon the community at large. – Library Journal

In Late Empire, Lisa Olstein’s fourth poetry collection, the poet throws herself into a disturbing discussion about 21st-century realities, pinpointing, questioning, and exhorting. It’s a riveting picture of the micro, day-to-day busy-ness against the macro, overshadowing struggle of existential survival. ...Olstein is a master of poetic syntax. Her words paint fresh, beautiful images.– Rain Taxi

In her fourth book―a gorgeous call-to-arms in the face of our current social and political conditions―Lisa Olstein employs her signature wit, wordplay, candor, and absurdity in poems that are her most personal―and political―to date.  – Prairie Schooner

Brilliant and provocative... Olstein realizes that the rules of language must be questioned, interrogated, and revised from within. – The Literary Review


Little Stranger

Beautifully crafted and unsettling in just the right way, these poems track a poet of growing importance. – Library Journal

Is she just smarter about syntax, more articulate about human drama, more imaginative about eeriness, more insightful about sadness, more capable of turning a novel phrase, more engaging a storyteller than nearly all the rest of her peers? Well, yes. – Huffington Post

..leaping, blurring, multifaceted, vertiginous poems that complicate and perhaps ridicule the simple ache in the simple heart. – Black Warrior Review

In her third collection, Olstein considers nature, faith, motherhood, and even the media with authority. [Her] repetitions of images and words become echoes of a fierce conversation with the universe.  – Book List

Taut, sonically driven and darkly funny. – The Volta


Lost Alphabet

Olstein’s beautiful and ambitious collection unfolds just as it should, telling us a story without sounding like a storybook.– Library Journal Best of 2009 selection

Lisa Olstein’s second collection of poems, Lost Alphabet, is a fascinating and inventive exploration of observation. – American Poet

Most appealing is Olstein’s sensitive, quietly pained and earnest tone, which, more than the unusual subject, is the real star of this book. – Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review


Radio Crackling, Radio Gone

This poet brings a sparkling consciousness to the page and an exciting new voice to American poetry. – Library Journal

Olstein’s first book weaves its reader into a sensual and fibrous dreamscape inhabited by totem animals, somnambulist lovers hypnotic with longing, and symbols boldly acknowledged for their inherent duplicity. – Ploughshares

Each poem stands on its own, total and whole: an intricate, delicate little world. –Coldfront Magazine