”The narrative economy in 'Missing, Not Dead,' which reads like the best poetry, is startling: here we have the depth of a fraught relationship in the span of only a few pages. I was blown away by the writing here, and by the unexpected voltas. For those of you wondering if the braided essay still works, voila.” —Garrard Conley, contest judge and author of NYT Bestseller Boy Erased
Missing, Not Dead
by Jiordan Castle
Winner of the 2018 Essay Contest
Published January 27th, 2019
Jiordan Castle is a writer, content strategist, and an MFA candidate in poetry at Hunter College in New York City. Her work has appeared in Bitterzoet Magazine, Vinyl, Verdad, Brain Mill Press, Frontera, and elsewhere online and in print. She is a reader for Cagibi and a regular contributor to the LA-based quarterly food and culture print magazine Compound Butter. You can find her at jiordancastle.com and @jiordancastle.
Nathan Oliveira was born in Oakland, California in 1928 to a family of Portuguese immigrants. He studied painting and printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of the Arts, or CCAC) in Oakland, and in the summer of 1950 with Max Beckmann at Mills College in Oakland. After two years in the U.S. Army as a cartographic draftsman, he began teaching painting in 1955 at CCAC and drawing and printmaking at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute, or SFAI). In 1959 Oliveira was the youngest painter included in the groundbreaking exhibition, New Images of Man, which included established artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since then he held numerous guest teaching appointments at various art schools and universities. He held a tenured teaching position at Stanford University from 1964 until he retired in 1995. During his career, surveys of his work were held at the Art Gallery of the University of California, Los Angeles (1963); Oakland Museum of California (1973); California State University, Long Beach (1980); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1984); California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco (1997); and the San Jose Museum of Art (2002). Oliveira was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994 and has received many other awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two honorary doctorates, and, in 2000, membership in a distinguished order conferred by the government of Portugal. His work is collected nationally and is held in the collections of many distinguished institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Oliveira passed away in 2010 at his home in Palo Alto, California.