The Coast Starlight: Collected Poems 1976-2006, by Hans Ostrom, is a rich collection of poetry on a broad range of subjects. Some poems are set in and concern Ostrom's native region, the High Sierra of California; others are set in Sweden, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Germany. "Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven," an award-winning, much republished poem, was featured in the "Poet's Choice" column in the Washington Post as well as in the popular anthology Kiss Off: Poems to Set You Free. Hans Ostrom was born and grew up in a small town in California's High Sierra. Ostrom attended high school and community college in the Central Valley of California before enrolling at the University of California, Davis, where he earned a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D. in literature. There he studied writing with the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro. Ostrom's poems have been appearing in journals, magazines, and anthologies for three decades, and they have won several prizes. Currently professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, Ostrom has taught at Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has also worked as a journalist, an editor, and a laborer. Ostrom has written, co-written, edited, and co-edited numerous works, including Three To Get Ready (a novel), Subjects Apprehended: Poems, Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction, A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia, Lives and Moments: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Metro: Journeys in Writing Creatively (written with Wendy Bishop and Katharine Haake), and the five-volume Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature (edited with J. David Macey). Ostrom lives in the South Puget Sound region with his wife and son. "Reading Hans Ostrom's poems the second time, one wants to read them a third time and more. This is the test of poetry, after which no other test applies. It is not only the memorability of the voice in its quiet assurance but the introduction of a new experience that make the reader want to return and to see and hear again. The range is geographically immense but the persona remains intact and rooted in its time and place, the poet of Scandinavian descent in the new American west. At home in nature and at home among handicrafts, at home in the academy and in far-flung places: one has an image of a Paul Bunyan-and Rilke! Here is genuine American poetry at its best." Karl Shapiro (1913-2000), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
Ostrom, Hans A. The Coast Starlight: Collected Poems, 1976-2006. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Pub, 2006.