Brian Oliu

Brian Oliu



  • MFA, Creative Writing, The University of Alabama, 2009
  • BA, English, Loyola University, 2000


Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey & has taught at the University of Alabama since receiving his MFA in 2009. He has a BA 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, & has been twice selected as a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays series. He is the author of five books and two chapbooks, ranging from Craigslist Missed Connections, to video game boss battles, to NBA Jam.

Excerpts from his book, Leave Luck to Heaven, 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.

Oliu has taught numerous classes at The University of Alabama, including Freshman Composition, Late American Literature, as well as many 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.

He served as Director of Slash Pine Press, an experiential learning internship where students edited and designed poetry chapbooks, as well as put on community writing events. He is a firm believer that the excitement and true joy in non-fiction is taking something that is universal & finding something absurd or even impossible while still remaining inside the confines of truth. It is his role as an educator to help students realize this concept and find their true story within the stories.

Recent work on long-distance running, professional wrestling, and donuts can be found in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Catapult, Runner’s World, Unruly Bodies, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.



  • So You Know It’s Me, Tiny Hardcore Press, 2011
  • Leave Luck to Heaven, Uncanny Valley Press, 2014
  • Enter Your Initials For Record Keeping, Cobalt Press, 2015
  • I/O: A Memoir, Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015
  • All Things Burn, Pocket Gems, 2016


  • Come See For Yourself, Tiny Hardcore Press, 2012
  • Level End, Origami Zoo Press, 2012

Works In Progress

  • Kilometer Zero, A book collaboration/translation project of my grandfather’s guide to running, originally published in the Catalan language.
  • Dancefloor, A series of essays based off of pop songs.
  • What The World Has Come To, A series of essays about professional wrestling.
  • Boston Cream Review, A series of essays about donuts.
  • Full-Zip, A non-fiction book about the cultural significance of the track jacket.


  • Best Creative Nonfiction Vol. 2, W.W. Norton, 2008
  • 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction by Younger Authors, Starcherone, 2011
  • Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction, University of Iowa Press, 2012
  • Blurring The Boundaries: Explorations into the Fringe of Nonfiction, University of Nebraska Press, 2012
  • Continue? The Boss Fight Books Anthology, Boss Fight Books, 2015
  • How We Speak To One Another, Coffee House Press, 2017
  • It Was Written: Poetry Inspired By Hip-Hop, Minor Arcana, 2017
  • The Shell Game: Writers Play With Borrowed Forms, University of Nebraska Press, 2018


  • Tuscaloosa Runs This, Broken Futon Press, 2012
  • Liver of Dixie, Broken Futon Press, 2013
  • Tuscaloosa Writes This, Slash Pine Press, 2013