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Okla Elliott
May 1, 1977 – March 19, 2017
Okla Elliott passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on March 19, 2017, from an apparent heart attack. He was an assistant professor at Misericordia University in northeast Pennsylvania. He held a PhD in comparative and world literature from the University of Illinois, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Ohio State University, and a certificate in legal studies from Purdue University. His work has appeared in Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, A Public Space, and Subtropics, and was included as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015 . His books include From the Crooked Timber (short fiction), The Cartographer's Ink (poetry), The Doors You Mark Are Your Own (a coauthored novel), Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems of Jurgen Becker (translation), and Bernie Sanders: The Essential Guide (nonfiction). He was a senior editor at New American Press and the managing editor of the culture and politics website As It Ought to Be. At the time of his death, he was working on Pope Francis: The Essential Guide (nonfiction).
From the Crooked Timber
a novella & stories by Okla Elliott

ISBN 978-1-935708-47-6
8.5 x 5.5 paperback
150 pages
Praise for From the Crooked Timber

“Okla Elliott’s new story collection has a terrific variety of characters—all of them credible, sympathetic, and complex, presented in Elliott’s lean, compelling, breezy style. Elliott has a sharp perception of character and a balanced wisdom about how his characters think and feel. He is a fine craftsman, and each story here is a pleasure to read and to contemplate.” 
— Thomas E. Kennedy, best-selling author of In the Company of Angels

“In the gritty, tough-minded, open-hearted stories of From the Crooked Timber, Okla Elliott explores lives of quiet desperation, and sometimes stolen consolations, beneath the crush of instant-access, celebrity-culture media. With broken families and fractured relationships of the kinds, Elliott lays bare ever more the rule than the exception, an imagination such as his is one the culture would do well to hear.” 
— Jonathan Monroe, author of Demosthenes’ Legacy and Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University

“The seeming ease and clarity of the prose—the hardest thing to achieve in writing of any kind—makes many appearances.” 
— Franz Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Kindertotenwald

“Elliott’s forceful and unpredictable stories speak compellingly of love thwarted, connections not pursued, or severed quickly before they can deepen. Elliott’s honesty and his insight into human desires, the passions that hold humans hostage, life tumbling from one experience to another, are darkly luminous. Bleakly beautiful.” 
— Duff Brenna, author of Too Cool (a New York Times Notable Book)

“Okla Elliott’s work will thrill you. His characters are as real as your own family . . . Elliott writes as if death and loss can be comic, and in his hands, they are—ruefully comic.” 
— Kelly Cherry, three-time winner of the PEN/Syndicated Fiction Award

“The stories in Okla Elliott’s From the Crooked Timber are gritty and hard-edged in all the right ways. These are stories about people who are put-upon, either by their own missteps or circumstances beyond their control—stories about what it takes to keep placing one foot in front of the other. The tender longing on the underside of want is all through these pages. Elliott’s prose is lean and stark but somehow suffused with an evocation of how life, given a little more this or that, could very well be.” 
— Lee Martin, Pulitzer Prize-finalist author of The Bright Forever

“What so galvanizes me about Okla Elliott’s prickly fiction is his generous sympathy for and his cold-eyed honesty about the underclass, those at the margins for whom the American Dream is as much an elaborate hoax as it is a cruel joke. His are people sand-bagged by their hope, not to mention by their thirst for booze and hunger for bad love. Make room by the campfire, William Gay and Dale Ray Phillips and Chris Offutt and Robert Olmstead. Mr. Elliott has stories to burn and homey truths to brood about.” 
— Lee K. Abbott, author of All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories

Ivana Krušec is a hobby photographer from Zagreb, Croatia, where she developed her passion for nature photography. Driven by desire to immortalize nature's beauty, she has been sharing her works for the past six years on Flickr at