Dan O’Connell is a three-time award winning poet, and multiple finalist and honorable mention, whose work has appeared regularly in small and large publications since 1986, most recently In Between Hangovers (2017), Big Bell Magazine (2016) and America Magazine (Foley Poetry Prize, 2015). Dan O. is a former Philosophy and Rhetoric professor. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he has his own law practice and occasionally teaches Law. 


Different Coasts, a full-length collection of poems, Parthenon West, 2003. Purchase.

Theory of Salvation, a full-length collection of poems, 2009. Purchase.

A Third Set of Teeth, a full-length collection of poems, 2016, seeking publication. 



“I Have Seen a Father," featured poem, Clarendon, Fall 1986 issue.

“Late Night Interstate Driving,”  winner Best Poem, Bay Area Poets Coalition, 1996 Contest.

“Comparing Myself to the Buddha,”  finalist in The Mississippi Review 2002 Poetry Contest and published in its Spring 2003 issue. 

“Ode to the Grape,”  finalist in Judd’s Hill 2003 Poetry Contest and published in Fall 2003. 

"Two Strangers,"  third prize in Bay Area Poets Coalition, 2014 Contest. 

"The Broken Dock,"  Honorable Mention in Bay Area Poets Coalition, 2014 Contest. 

"After This,"  Second Place, America Magazine's Foley Poetry Prize, 2015 Contest.

"These Green Hills" was chosen for inclusion in the anthology Extraordinary Pleasure to commemorate the poet Don Brennan, ed. Clara Hsu and Dan Brady (2015).   

"Approaching Deception Pass, Thinking of the Future," and "Crossing the Straight of Juan de Fuca on the Victoria Clipper During a Storm" included in Water and the Sounding Sirens multi-media curated group art show at Sherwood Gallery created by Tea Roots.org. October 7, 2016.   


“The Kiss” appears in The Homestead Review (and appears on-line at the journal’s website (www.hartnell.edu/homestead_review [see Fall/Winter 2003]).

"Sixth Glass” and “Cloud Shadows” appears in San Francisco Bay Guardian.

 “Ode to Bananas,” “At A Diner,” and “Apostate” appears in Parthenon West Review, Issue No. 1, and “Anniversary, roughly” appears in Issue No. 7.

 “Red-spotted Brown Shell,”Today I Fell In Love,” appears in The San Francisco Reader.

 “These Green Hills” appears in The San Francisco Reader and (Re)Po and Extraordinary Pleasures, A Don Brennan Memorial Collection.

 “Calling” appears in Snow Monkey (and appears on-line at www.ravennapress.com/snowmonkey/volume.php?volume=6&issue=1 ). 

 “On the Window Ledge,” “Clear Cut,” “Truckee River Valley,” “The Confessional,” “Above Rick’s Auto Body Shop,” “Morning Moon,”  “Purple Trees,” “Rooming House: From Certain People,” “Rooming House: Summation,” “Explosion,” “Although I Am a Man,” and “Passengers” appears in Haight Ashbury Literary Journal.

 “Closure,” and “Strange Remains” appears in Nepotism: Dispatch One.

 “Court Appearance” appears in Bum’s Rush.

 After the Apocalypse” appears in Over the Transom.

 “Half-Empty Moon,” and “The Staircase” appeared in OnezineSF.

 “Happiness Study #4” appears in North Coast Literary Review.

“The Grand Scheme of Things,”  appears in What’s Nature Got to Do With Me, Native West Press. (October, 2011)

“Horse Koan” and "At Ocean Beach Projecting My Metaphysical Despair Onto a Surfer,"  appear in Big Bell Magazine, ed. Russell Dillon (Summer 2016).  

"It was So Easy to Be a Bird," "Just for Today," "Crossing the Straight of Juan de Fuca on the Victoria Clipper During a Storm," "Deception Pass," and "This Place" appear or are forthcoming at IN BETWEEN HANGOVERS. (2017) (https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/2017/01/page/5/) 



“Disbursement,” “The Boredom of Christ,” “Two Strangers,” “The Ant Hill,”  “Enemies” and “Ant Sonnet” appeared for a duration at www.thetranslationproject.org.

 “These Green Hills,” “Oscillation,” “Writing Tips To Myself,” “Departed” “Who Can Say,” “Hidden Camera,” “Preparedness,” and “Troubled Sleep” appeared at www.muse-apprentice-guild.com.

 “The Staircase” and other poems appear at www.sfsalvo.com (click on "Back Burner").



Dan O. has been featured at San Francisco poetry venues such as City Lights Bookstore (2003),  Keane’s 3300 Club (2002 and 2003), Poetry Mission at Dalva (2001 and 2003), Poetry Above Paradise (2000), Café International (2001 and 2004),  Kim Addonizio’s Salon (2002 and 2003), Our Corner Cafe Reading Series (2012), and many others, and has been broadcast on KPFA. Dan O.'s first featured reading was in Binghamton, New York in 1985. 

Dan O. has also been featured at many special events and benefits, including Laborfest 2003, Café International’s Winter Solstice Reading (2001), The Humbug Show (2002 and 2004) and The Love Show (2003) produced by Folk This!, AKA Productions Strong Medicine Show (2004, at Faithful Fools), Poetry&Pizza Reading Series (2003, to benefit Morisianna West, Inc.), The Anarchist Bookstore benefit reading (2004), and Marc Wilson's Amusia CD release party at Viracocha  998 Valencia, San Francisco (August 2011).

Dan O. was a featured poet during Red Poppy Art House’s FESTIVALNERDUA (2004), and was a featured reader during San Francisco’s LitQuake Festival (2005).

In 2007, Dan O. created, hosted, and featured in  the National Lawyers Guild’s literary fundraiser at Frey Norris Art Gallery to raise money for NLG’s post-9/11 Know Your Rights campaign.

Dan O. has also read for college writing and literature classes at San Francisco State University and Skyline Community College.  His poems have also been assigned in high school and college classes, including University of San Francisco Law School’s “Race, Law, and Policy” course.


Dan O. has collaborated with musicians many times. Click here to watch some videos of Dan O's collaborations. His performances with musicians include:  

June 2017: Collaboration with Tayfun Ozisik of Heart of Orion on upright piano, at Madrone's music open mic.

November 2014: Collaboration with Erland at Madrone’s music open mic; Erland on the piano, playing Chopin to my poetry.

July 2014: Collaboration with Erland at Madrone’s music open mic; Erland on the piano, playing Chopin to my poetry.

December 2013: Collaboration with Erland at Madrone’s music open mic; Erland on the piano, playing Chopin to my poetry.

May 2013: Collaboration with Alabaster and Don Altena backing me up at Madrone’s music open mic; Alabaster on guitar, Don Altena on ukulele. 

March 2013: Collaboration with LMC on bass guitar at Madrone’s music open mic.

October 2012: Collaboration with Anthony on harmonica at Madrone’s music open mic.

July 8, 2012: Collaboration with Eric Robertson accompanying me with his drums at Madrone’s music open mic.

August 2009: Collaboration with the Mario Grill Jazz Trio at The Inner Sunset Underground Verses venue.


Dan O. was the Translation Advisor for Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World, a translation anthology of contemporary Iranian poets in exile/émigré, ed. Niloufar Talebi, North Atlantic Books, 2008 (www.thetranslationproject.org). 

He is the founder and editor of The Throwback, a low-tech, print, sporadic literary journal.   

Dan O. has entertained audiences at various San Francisco Neighborhood Centers, including The Inner Sunset Underground Verses venue (2009), and has read at Larkin Street Youth Services for at-risk youth  (2002).