Arts Calling Podcast #54 Daniel A. Olivas | Short stories, playwriting, and Chicanos in the arts

Arts Calling is a podcast to celebrate creatives across disciplines and cultural backgrounds making art no matter where they are. A case for the arts as the gateway to empathy, healthy lives, and strong communities.

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Hi there,

Today I am so honored to be arts calling Daniel A. Olivas!

About: Daniel A. Olivas is the author of ten books and editor of two anthologies. His latest books are How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories (University of Nevada Press, 2022), The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press, 2017), and Crossing the Border: Collected Poems (Pact Press, 2017).

Widely anthologized, Daniel has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, La Bloga, BOMB, High Country News, Huffington Post, Alta Journal, Los Angeles Times, El Paso Times, The Rumpus, and the Jewish Journal.

Daniel is also a playwright. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, and his plays may be read at New Play Exchange. Daniel’s first full-length play, Waiting for Godínez, was selected for the Playwrights’ Arena Summer Reading Series (2020), and The Road Theatre’s 12th Annual Summer Playwrights Festival (2021), and was a Semi-Finalist for the 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award (American Blues Theater). Daniel was selected for Circle X Theatre’s inaugural Evolving Playwrights Group where he adapted his novel, The Book of Want, for the stage, culminating in a streamed reading (2021). Daniel’s play, Waiting, had its world premiere with Playwrights’ Arena on July 24, 2021.

Daniel, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, grew up near downtown Los Angeles. He now makes his home in Southern California with his wife, and they have an adult son. Daniel received his degree in English literature from Stanford University and law degree from UCLA. By day, he is an attorney.

His latest collection, How to Date a Flying Mexican, is now available here:

Visit for more information.

Or stop by to say hi on Twitter:

Read Daniel’s plays at the New Play Exchange!

Thanks for this incredible conversation, Daniel!

Arts Calling is produced by Jaime Alejandro at

Re: the latest attack on abortion rights, please consider visiting for resources during this difficult time.

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  • staying awesome. I can’t thank you enough for listening.

Make art. Much love,


If you’re a creative in the written/visual/performing arts, and you believe the arts make us and our communities better: I’d love to talk to you! Contact me here.

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