BJ Omanson

Author's Bio

Born four days after the death of Edgar Lee Masters, BJ Omanson was raised in the Spoon River valley of Stark County, Illinois, where his father, both grandfathers and several great-grandfathers had farmed since the mid-nineteenth century, and where members of his family still farm today. ~~~~~ Largely self-educated, Omanson has spent the past fifty years working in five states as a barrel plater, drill press operator, autoworker, tree trimmer, shingle-mill worker, logger, truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver, gardener, day laborer, fruit picker, groundsman, nurseryman, librarian, used-bookstore manager, barn restorer, farmhand, gravedigger, garbage collector, custodian, greensmower, night waterman, nurse's aide on a locked ward for the criminally insane, and teamster (driving draft horses). ~~~~~ For the past decade he has interpreted the daily life of an 18th century frontier farmer at Prickett’s Fort on the Monongahela River north of Fairmont, West Virginia. He has published poetry, literary criticism, theatre and art reviews, and military history. Omanson has published three books of poetry, all with Monongahela Press: Stark County Poems: War and the Depression come to Spoon River; The Tower at the Edge of the Wood: Bois Belleau Seventy-five Years After; and Along a Darkening Trail.

Publications and Prizes

This Man's Army: A War in Fifty-Odd Sonnets
(University of South Carolina Press, 2008)
New Voices: University and College Poetry Prizes, 8th edition
(Academy of American Poets, 2002)
North Stone Review, Pennsylvania Review, Shenandoah, Sparrow, The Hudson Review, The Sewanee Review, Verse
Prizes Won: 
Academy of American Poets College Prize, Rockford College, 1989

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
European American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Osceola, IL
Raised in: 
Spoon River, IL
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Last updated: Mar 23, 2018