Renée Ashley’s Tribute Poem to Okla Elliott
“At lunch, my fortune is short / and spelled out in blue: You will live, // it said, a lifetime of love. It must have / been for you,” writes Renée Ashley in “Dear Okla,” her MAYDAY Magazine tribute poem to Okla Elliot who recently and tragically passed away, far too young, in his sleep. The writing community deeply mourns the loss of this beautiful poet, writer, editor, teacher, translator, and brilliant human being. Renée writes, “It’s not right. / It can’t be right. The lilacs are shouting // their purple.”
As published at The Book Haven, some of Okla Elliot’s numerous literary accomplishments included:
His work appeared in Harvard Review, The Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, Public Space, Cincinnati Review, Indiana Review, Subtropics, and elsewhere, as well as being included as a “notable essay” in Best American Essays2015. His books included From the Crooked Timber (short fiction), The Cartographer’s Ink (poetry), The Doors You Mark Are Your Own (a novel), Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems of Jürgen Becker (translation), and Pope Francis: The Essential Guide (nonfiction, forthcoming).
Other tributes to Okla are published alongside Renée’s at MAYDAY Magazine.
Renée Ashley is a poet, novelist, and educator. Presently on the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University and an editor at The Literary Review, Ashley is the author of five collections of poetry, two chapbooks and a novel. Her work has received several honors including the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the NEA. Her poems have been published in literary journals and magazines including Poetry, American Voice, Bellevue Literary Review, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, and others.
Are you interested in studying with Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Low Residency MFA program?