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Deadly Pollen
by Stephen Oliver

8.5" x 5.5"
ISBN 0-9728200-2-7
pp. 32

Stephen Oliver makes a turn in language in his latest release, Deadly Pollen, a collection of new and recently published poems full of both original and mystical references. Conversation, myth, image, symbol - all are mined for their poetic point, all wrung out to dry.

Perhaps the most approachable book of Oliver's to date, Deadly Pollen is full of poems that are complete in and of themselves, yet woven together with spirituality, a sense of the magic of science.

The author says his book "represents an ongoing exploration of damage to our larger cultural environment" and uses his work to "pay homage to historical memory." If, as Auden suggests, "poems make nothing happen," then Oliver's poetry is vital, classic, the literary equivalent of Dorothea Lange's photography. Oliver calls poetry “an exercise of loss and preservation." In Deadly Pollen, he submits his evidence to the world.

About the Author
Stephen Oliver b. 1950, Wellington, New Zealand. Stephen spet a year in a diploma course in Magazine Journalism, Wellington Polytechnic, attended Radio NZ Broadcasting School, and freelanced as production voice, newsreader, announcer, journalist, copy and features writer. He has lived in Paris, Vienna, London, San Francisco, Greece and Israel and his poems are widely represented in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, USA, UK, South Africa, Canada, etc.

Oliver has published many books including: Henwise (1975), & Interviews (1978), Autumn Songs (1978), Letter To James. K. Baxter (1980), Earthbound Mirrors (1984), Guardians, Not Angels (1993), Islands of Wilderness - A Romance (1996), Election Year Blues (1999), Unmanned (1999). Night of Warehouses: Poems 1978-2000, covers five collections of poetry and spans two decades. HeadworX (2001). In addition, Stephen Oliver's work can also be found in a number of e-zines. Stephen Oliver is a transtasman poet based in Sydney, Australia.

Reviews & Praise
"There are very good (and very different) poems in the collection which frankly lay out the problems of modern society and at the same time seek to overcome them. The fact that there is no actual encounter with civilization does not weaken the poems, or lessen the presence of the observer; the scenes have an atmospheric intentness. ... Unlike classical elegists, but in the mood of our times, [Oliver] gives fact and detail, and in such a way as fails to trivialize the plight of humanity.
-Stylus Poetry Journal

"Deadly Pollen, is an ambitious undertaking— a meditation, in large measure, on Wallace Stevens and his legacy—and brings together thirty-five short lyrics into a loosely linked sequence which examines the state of the world after 9/11. And the poem is not 'merely' political, for it diagnoses a state of spiritual malaise based on fear, a state of crisis in which the role of the poet is in question."
-JAS Review of Books

(No excerpts currently available.)

Author News
Deadly Pollen is now available at Project Gutenberg -- a reknowned resource and cataloguing system of world literature.

Stephen Oliver has an interview up at


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