Largely self-educated, BJ Omanson has spent the past fifty years working in five states as a barrel plater, punch press operator, furniture factory worker, autoworker, tree trimmer--- a cedar-shake mill worker & independent cedar-bolt cutter (supplying mills with cords of split cedar "bolts" salvaged from huge fallen logs up to 15 feet in diameter, half-buried under heaps of slash high up on the steep clear-cut slopes of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, while living for a year in primitive shelters along the Calawah and Hoh rivers)--- a truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver, gardener, day laborer, nurseryman, librarian, used-bookstore manager, ditch-digger, post-hole digger, gravedigger, garbage collector and custodian--- a greensmower & night waterman on golf courses in three states--- a nurse's aide on a locked ward for the criminally insane in two states--- a courier delivering library books to little mining towns high up in the Colorado Rockies--- and, finally, two years as a barn restorer, farmhand & teamster (driving draft horses) on a farm in Minnesota. ---All of which adds up to a classic writer's education of the old school.

For six years he worked on a part-time basis as the layout editor for the academic journal, Medieval Perspectives.

For ten years, from 2007 to 2017, as a living-history interpreter, he lived the daily life of an 18th-century frontier farmer at Prickett's Fort on the Monongahela River north of Fairmont, West Virginia.

He has published poetry & literary criticism in such wayward publications as The Hudson Review, Verse, Shenandoah, The Sewanee Review, Sparrow: A Yearbook of the Sonnet, The Illinois State Genealogical Quarterly, Illinois Heritage: the Magazine of the Illinois State Historical Society & The Stark County News.

One of his poems, "Nowhere to Nowhere," was recently chosen by Ted Kooser (former Poet Laureate of the United States), to appear in his weekly column, American Life in Poetry published in newspapers around the world. ~~~ Omanson has also published theatre & art reviews, regional history & military history.

In 1997, Omanson founded Monongahela Books as an online used-book store. Twenty years later, in 2017, with Omanson still at the helm as designer & editor-in-chief, Monongahela Books began publishing its own line of books, specializing in American military, social & cultural history.


BLOGS

Monongahela Books

A Bivouac on the Slope of Parnassus:
~~~~~ poetry, essays & reminiscences


The American Midwest as a Literary Region

Shepherd's Rest

History & Lore of the Old World War

The War Sonnets of John Allan Wyeth

American Transcendentalism: A Day-by-day Chronology



Books written, annotated or introduced by
BJ Omanson




AVAILABLE



AVAILABLE




AVAILABLE



FORTHCOMING

AVAILABLE

AVAILABLE



AVAILABLE



AVAILABLE


FORTHCOMING


McFarland Publishers


AVAILABLE


Univ of South Carolina Press



AVAILABLE




AVAILABLE







Largely self-educated, BJ Omanson has spent the past fifty years working in five states as a barrel plater, punch press operator, furniture factory worker, autoworker, tree trimmer--- a cedar-shake mill worker & independent cedar-bolt cutter (supplying mills with cords of split cedar "bolts" salvaged from huge fallen logs up to 15 feet in diameter, half-buried under heaps of slash high up on the steep clear-cut slopes of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, while living for a year in primitive shelters along the Calawah and Hoh rivers)--- a truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver, gardener, day laborer, nurseryman, librarian, used-bookstore manager, ditch-digger, post-hole digger, gravedigger, garbage collector and custodian--- a greensmower & night waterman on golf courses in three states--- a nurse's aide on a locked ward for the criminally insane in two states--- a courier delivering library books to little mining towns high up in the Colorado Rockies--- and, finally, two years as a barn restorer, farmhand & teamster (driving draft horses) on a farm in Minnesota. ---All of which adds up to a classic writer's education of the old school. For six years he worked on a part-time basis as the layout editor for the academic journal, Medieval Perspectives. For ten years, from 2007 to 2017, as a living-history interpreter, he lived the daily life of an 18th-century frontier farmer at Prickett's Fort on the Monongahela River north of Fairmont, West Virginia. He has published poetry & literary criticism in such wayward publications as The Hudson Review, Verse, Shenandoah, The Sewanee Review, Sparrow: A Yearbook of the Sonnet, The Illinois State Genealogical Quarterly, Illinois Heritage: the Magazine of the Illinois State Historical Society & The Stark County News. One of his poems, "Nowhere to Nowhere," was recently chosen by Ted Kooser (former Poet Laureate of the United States), to appear in his weekly column, American Life in Poetry published in newspapers around the world. ~~~ Omanson has also published theatre & art reviews, regional history & military history. In 1997, Omanson founded Monongahela Books as an online used-book store. Twenty years later, in 2017, with Omanson still at the helm as designer & editor-in-chief, Monongahela Books began publishing its own line of books, specializing in American military, social & cultural history.