Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), winner of the Hayden Carruth Award; Lost Alphabet (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), a Library Journal best book of the year; Little Stranger (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), a Lannan Literary Selection; and Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). Her chapbook, The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales Is a Family Resemblance (2016), was selected by Shane McCrae for an Essay Press prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Nation, American Letters & Commentary, The Volta, and Boston Review. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Lannan Writing Residency, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Centrum.
Olstein earned a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, undertaking additional studies at the Aegean Center for Fine Arts and Harvard Divinity School. She co-founded and for ten years directed the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she also served as associate director of the MFA program. Currently, she is an associate editor for Tupelo Quarterly, a contributing editor for jubilat, and advisor for Bat City Review. A member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, Olstein currently teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. She is also the lyricist for the rock band Cold Satellite.