BJ Omanson


333 Wagner Road
Morgantown, WV 26501

Author's Bio

Largely self-educated, BJ Omanson has spent the past fifty years working in five states as a barrel plater, punch-press operator, furniture factory worker, autoworker, tree trimmer, cedar-shake mill worker, cedar-bolt cutter, logger, truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver, gardener, day laborer, fruit picker, nurseryman, librarian, used-bookstore manager, gravedigger, garbage collector, custodian, greensmower & night waterman on several golf courses, nurse's aide on a locked ward for the criminally insane, barn restorer, farmhand, and teamster (driving draft horses). 

For six years he worked on a part-time basis as the layout editor for the academic journal, Medieval Perspectives

From 2007 to 2017, he 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 in such journals as the Hudson Review, Shenandoah, Verse & the Sewanee Review. He has also published theatre & art reviews, regional history & military history.  

In 1997, Omanson founded Monongahela Books as an online used-book store. Twenty years later, in 2017, Monongahela Books began publishing its own line of books, specializing in American history and culture. 


Publications & Prizes

New Voices: University and College Poetry Prizes, 8th edition (Academy of American Poets, 2002)
Before the Clangor of the Gun: The First World War Poetry of JA Wyeth (Monongahela Books, 2019)
The Land Itself (Monongahela Books, 2019)
Old Locksley among the Ruins (Monongahela Books, 2018)
Two Nocturnes on Arnold's "Scholar Gipsy" (Monongahela Books, 2018)
Stark County Poems: War & the Depression come to Spoon River (Monongahela Books, 2017)
The Tower at the Edge of the Wood (Monongahela Books, 2017)
This Man's Army: A War in Fifty-Odd Sonnets (University of South Carolina Press, 2008)
North Stone Review
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The Hudson Review
Prizes won: 

Academy of American Poets College Prize, Rockford College, 1989

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
European American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Osceola, IL
Raised in: 
Spoon River Valley, IL
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Last update: Aug 01, 2019