Oli Hazzard

Oli Hazzard is the author of three books of poems, Between Two Windows (Carcanet, 2012), Blotter (Carcanet, 2018) and Progress: Real and Imagined (SPAM Press, 2020), a book of literary criticism, John Ashbery and Anglo-American Exchange: The Minor Eras (Oxford University Press, 2018), and a novel, Lorem Ipsum (Prototype Publishing, 2021). He lives in Glasgow, and teaches at the University of St Andrews.

Selected praise: 

‘Circling around personal life and politics, around teaching, technology and time, as experienced and registered and re-registered through supple words that are also diamond-bright, lit by wit, Oli Hazzard creates a self-portrait as a spiral galaxy and invites us, in it, to see ourselves.’ – Paul Griffiths

‘The title of this sentence, Lorem Ipsum, refers to the “dummy text” used as a placeholder in book or website design to demonstrate where the “real” text will eventually sit. In Hazzard’s version, this hypothetical text box is stretched to the uncertain dimensions of a narrated life, clicked and dragged to incorporate fears and fascinations, lit crit dejecta and gossipy digressions, scrambling its contents in the process. Despite the push and pull of its constraints, jostled by Rousselian brackets, Hazzard’s sentence is wholly compelling from start to end. Like its description of Sei Shōnagon’s 11th-century Pillow Book, this is writing “with the seams exposed”, a virtuosic unpicking of the selvedge hemming literature and life.’ – Daisy Lafarge

Lorem Ipsum is named after a garbled Latin placeholder script: something to look at before the real text is slotted in. This is a book that reveals how the apparently empty spaces of experience teem with life. With a relentless clarity that reminds me of Lyn Hejinian’s My Life, it is a novel of such generous and insightful attention to feeling I have the impression it is letting me in on the secrets I keep from myself. There is a story on every page, and together they make an inviting and lasting work of exquisite distraction.’ – Caleb Klaces