Oliver Rice grew up in small towns near Mark Twain's Hannibal, Missouri. Became an active amateur musician and a U. S. Navy pilot. Took a doctorate in modern American literature and taught in several universities. Was subsequently employed as a book editor, a developer of learning programs, and a team leader on linguistic projects in Africa and Southeast Asia , under contract with the Ford Foundation, the Peace Corps, and the U. S. Army. As a leisure undertaking while working in Singapore , he collected, edited, and co-translated a bilingual volume of modern Malay verse, the first introduction of Malay poets to an English speaking audience, published by the Oxford University Press.
Rice has now retired to poetry in Naples , Florida . He has won the Theodore Roethke Prize and twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies in the United States , as well as in Canada , England , Austria , Turkey , and India.