“Finish Your Breakfast." 2023. poetry published in Poetry (October 2023)

Oliver Baez Bendorf

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

In my creative practice, I navigate the transitional realms of ‘god as change,’ inspired by Octavia E. Butler, drawing strength from my Latinx identity. Rooted in trans & queer eco-poetics, my writing explores the fluidity of form, challenging conventional notions of what is deemed “natural.” Envisioning a world where embracing our animal selves is safe for all, I record the perishable images of the day in my notebook, finding patterns and portals within. Applying gentle pressure to language through repetition and ritual, my process thrives on experimentation, contemplation, and the interconnectedness of all beings.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I’ll delve into the liminal space that follows the release of my third book of poems, Consider the Rooster. Embracing the spirit of my trans & queer eco-poetics, I intend to let new ideas take shape without rigid boundaries. My composition notebook, a faithful companion, keeps me in a stance of noticing, and noticing what I notice. I have recently been exploring circular structures, bringing the varied yet rhythmic nature of days into my new project, slide deck / circa / 1987. Inspired by Joe Brainard, Harryette Mullen, Renee Gladman, and Ovid, these poems delve into memory, daily walks, queer history, astronomy, and calendrical exploration, inviting readers to enter or exit poems from any point. Rooted in the biodiverse Headlands, my residency aims to deepen this exploration, welcoming the influence of the land and its inhabitants on my creative process.


from Consider the Rooster (forthcoming from Nightboat Books, Sept 2024):

from new manuscript under development: