Olivia Hoffman

Olivia Hoffman was a finalist for Oakland Youth Poet Laureate in 2013, earning the runner-up spot for her “well-versed, thick poems” and “gutsy truth-telling.” She has been writing since she was a child but became more dedicated to poetry when her father passed away several years ago. In writing about every aspect of her life, not just the loss of her father, she has found solace and understanding. An Honor Student at Oakland School of the Arts, Olivia has published and performed her work locally and internationally at the acclaimed Edinburgh Theater Festival.



by Oliva Hoffman, age 16

you had big hands
big hands that draped over mine and wrapped around my hips
and fingertips rough and callused tracing ribcages
you were a man. not a boy but a man
that reminded me of my father
who disappeared when i was a girl
like shadows melting into fog
and goosebumps.
you had big hands
that were warm and leathery
and had lines that told stories
like fallen trees i used to climb on top of
in the forest with my father.