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Reading at the Letters Festival in Atlanta, GA.


​Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey & currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, after teaching at the University of Alabama since receiving his M.F.A. in 2009. He has a B.A. in English from Loyola University-Maryland & was the recipient of the Buford Boone Fellowship during his time at Alabama.


His work has been anthologized in Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2, 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction, The &Now Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing 2011-2013, An Essay Daily Reader, It Was Written, Working Stiff, Continue? The Boss Fight Books Anthology, The Shell Game, Roxane Gay's Unruly Bodies, among others. His work has been twice selected as a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays series as well as nominated over fifteen times for a Pushcart Prize.


He has served as the judge for the Flannery O'Connor Prize in Fiction, Booth Magazine's Summer Nonfiction Prize, the AWP Kurt Brown Prize in Nonfiction, and the Best of the Net Fiction Prize. He has served as Guest Editor for Sundog Lit's Gaming Issue, as well as the weekly editor for SmokeLong Quarterly.

As an Instructor at the University of Alabama, Oliu taught multiple courses, including Freshman Composition, Late American Literature, as well as a number of Creative Writing courses, including nonfiction workshops, classes on the lyric essay, poetry & prose tours, as well as classes dedicated to writing about games, about place, about utilizing artifice in writing, and on Literary Citizenship. He was also the director of Slash Pine Press, an experiential learning course where students edited, solicited, designed, and published limited-edition chapbooks, as well as put on literary events in the Tuscaloosa community. 


His pedagogical work can be found in Bedford St. Martin's Seeing and Writing, SUNY Press' Getting Personal: Bringing Personal Writing Into the Classroom in the Digital Age, The Insider Higher Ed Blog, & Alabama Press' Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing. ​

He is the Story Director for Armed Mind, a creative agency specializing in product narratives. He has worked on numerous digital campaigns, including the campaign for X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Deadpool for which he has won multiple Webby Awards.

Excerpts from his book Leave Luck to Heaven, have been published in such journals as Sonora Review, Conjunctions, Hotel Amerika, & DIAGRAM, as well as served as inspiration for “Another Castle,” an art installation by L’etablissment en face in Brussels, Belgium during September of 2012, which featured art from Juan Muñoz, Luciano Fabro, & Claes Oldenburg.

He has been interviewed by Jill Talbot & Her Advanced Creative Nonfiction Class for BrevityNick Ripatrazone for The Fine DelightLaura Relyea for VouchedKeith Meatto for Frontier Psychiatrist, Christopher Allen for SmokeLong Quarterly, Kori Hensell for Permafrost Magazine, and William Hoffacker for The Collagist.

When not writing, teaching, running, tweeting, or DJing, he spends most of his time thinking about donuts, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, and potential professional wrestling storylines.

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