Sleeping On Fists


Sleeping on Fists/Alberto Rios


Originally published by Dooryard Press.


Sleeping on Fists.  Story, WY: Dooyard Press, 1981.


Poems.  Limited Edition.






Sleeping in Fists is issued in an edition of 500 copies designed and printed by Barbara & Tom Rea.  The paper is Rives Light sewn into Canson covers.  Hand-set 11 pt. Centaur & its companion italic, Arrighi, were used for text & display.  The frontispiece was taken from a print made by Scott Sharp.





The Olives of Oblivion Fists
Alberto Ríos
Dooryard Press

It’s no secret that we here at The Olives of Oblivion are big fans of the chapbook, one of the fine traditions in poetry and bookmaking. Printed in an edition of 500,
Sleeping on Fists has a letterpress cover, a beautiful frontispiece (shown below), and 16 poems printed on deckle-edged Rives Light paper. Tasty.

Sleeping on Fists appeared right before Ríos’s first full-length collection, Whispering to Fool the Wind, which was selected by Donald Justice for the Walt Whitman Award in 1981 and published by Sheep Meadow Press in 1982. Sleeping on Fists, however, is not Ríos’s first book; this honor goes to the very obscure Elk Heads on the Wall, which appeared in 1979 from UC-Berkeley’s Chicano Studies Program through their chapbook series. A slim 23 pages, Elk Heads on the Wall was the 4th title in this series (edited by Gary Soto), and had a run of 350 copies.

Alberto Rios - Sleeping on Fists


Born in 1952 in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, Ríos has earned a reputation as one of the finest poets now writing in the US. Border, perhaps more than any other word, best describes Ríos’s style and obsessions. The border between Mexico and the United States. The border between the mundane and the magical. The border between self and community. The border between the secular and the sacred. Ríos has spent much of his career exploring the implications of such borders, as well as exploring where these borders blend together. Indeed, the synthetic moment is where Ríos finds and creates his meaning-making as an artist.

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