A.J. Odasso

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A.J. Odasso (born December 20, 1981) is an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based American writer and editor of speculative poetry and fiction.

Early life

Odasso grew up in Brookville, Pennsylvania and graduated from Wellesley College, where she earned a B.A. in English, in 2005. She also holds an interdisciplinary M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of York (2006), where she taught for several years, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University (2016), where she was a Teaching Fellow.


Odasso's first poems appeared in late 2005, in Strong Verse and Aesthetica magazines. At the time, she had just relocated to the United Kingdom. Although her poetry appeared in a variety of U.S.- and U.K.-based literary and SF/F publications and anthologies, the publisher that eventually picked up her first collection, Lost Books (2010), was London-based flipped eye publishing.[1] Her second collection, The Dishonesty of Dreams (2014), was also published by flipped eye.[2] In 2009 and 2011, two shorter chapbooks of her verse were published by Maverick Duck Press. Her work has appeared in such publications as Farrago's Wainscot, Sybil's Garage, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Cabinet des Fées, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Liminality, Through the Gate, inkscrawl, Battersea Review, SWAMP Writing, and Belmont Story Review.

Odasso's work has been repeatedly nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award since 2011,[3] and for the Elgin Award since 2015.[4] Her collection Lost Books was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award[5] and for the 2011 Forward Prize, and was also a finalist for the 2011 People's Book Prize.[6]

Odasso is Senior Poetry Editor[7] at Hugo Award- and Nebula Award-nominated magazine Strange Horizons, alongside Sonya Taaffe. She joined the publication's editorial team in 2012 after several years editing for the U.K.-based Dark Mountain Project journal (2010-2013). She has also been a panelist at conventions in recent years, including Readercon 25[8] and 26[9] and Arisia 2014,[10] 2015,[11] and 2016.[12]

In a 2015 interview with Wellesley Underground,[13] Odasso cites Patience Agbabi, Louise Glück, Li-Young Li, Rae Armantrout, Margaret Atwood, Mark Doty, Richard Siken, and T.S. Eliot as major influences. She has also spoken on the subjects of defining speculative poetry[14] and queerness in genre writing.[15]

Selected Bibliography

Chapbooks & Collections

Literary & Speculative Poetry

Short Fiction & Other Prose


  1. "Items added to the Poetry Library in January 2011". http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/library/?id=737. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  2. "Recent Books by Alumni". http://www.bu.edu/creativewriting/alumni-books. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  3. "The 2011 Rhysling Anthology and Awards". http://www.sfpoetry.com/ra/pages/11rhysling.html. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  4. "2015 Elgin Awards". http://www.sfpoetry.com/el/15elgin.html. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  5. "London New Poetry Award 2010". http://www.coffeehousepoetry.org/poems/london-new-poetry-award-2010. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  6. "Winners 2010/2011". http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/winners2010.htm. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  7. "The Staff of Strange Horizons". http://www.strangehorizons.com/StaffList.shtml. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  8. "Readercon 25 Program Participants". http://www.readercon.org/previous/r25.htm#participants. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  9. "Readercon 26 Program Participants". http://www.readercon.org/previous/r26.htm#participants. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  10. "Arisia 2014 Program Participant Bios". http://2014.arisia.org/Bios. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  11. "Arisia 2015 Program Participant Bios". http://2015.arisia.org/Bios. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  12. "Arisia 2016 Program Participant Bios". http://2016.arisia.org/Bios. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  13. "An Interview with Poet/Editor A.J. Odasso ‘05". http://wellesleyunderground.com/post/126788690167/wellesley-writes-it-an-interview-with-poeteditor. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  14. "Defining Speculative Poetry: A Conversation and Three Manifestos". http://www.strangehorizons.com/2014/20140224/poetry-a.shtml. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  15. "Our Queer Roundtable". http://www.strangehorizons.com/2016/20160725/1queerRT-a.shtml. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 

See also

List of speculative poets