Friday links, holiday edition.

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The winter solstice is this Sunday, which means the sun will be shining a little longer each day following.  Hurrah!  I am planning to read this and this (snagged an advance copy from a friend) over the holidays.  The office will be closed here from tomorrow until January 5, but you can still reach us via email at crwr@bu.edu.  Very best wishes for your holidays from BU Creative Writing!

Here are some literary links:

Must-read wisdom from Wendell Berry:
“Good work finds the way between pride and despair. It graces with health. It heals with grace. It preserves the given so that it remains a gift.”

A witty, wordy letter.

Gift ideas from Harvard Book Store.

Gift ideas from Miranda July?  (This is so cool.)  Click on an object to see its corresponding passage.

Another gift idea, and the chapter from whence it came.

Jan Morris on books:
“I am all too easily seduced by almost any kind of book. The name of the author entices me of course, the subject, sometimes the title, the opinion of critics I respect, a handsome jacket, elegant typography, the intoxicating smell of a volume and occasionally just a bibliophile’s foolish impulse.”

Did you know that Joseph Brodsky wrote a Christmas poem every year?  Here’s one, translated by Derek Walcott.

Happy fourth day of Hanukkah! A Hanukkah poem by Emma Lazarus.

“The Burglar at Christmas” by Willa Cather, published under her pseudonym.

A winter poem by William Carlos Williams.

Erin Belieu’s latest reviewed in the NY Times, and Literary Links

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We were delighted to see that the latest poetry collection by Erin Belieu, Slant Six (Copper Canyon Press), was reviewed on the first page of the Arts section of the New York TimesTimes critic Dwight Gardner was largely favorable in his review, saying, “It’s got more smoke, more confidence, more wit and less tolerance for obscurity. Her crisp free verse has as many subcurrents as a magnetic field.”

Click here to buy a copy.

This was the last week of classes here at BU, and we had our last Black Box Reading of the semester on Tuesday, and went to an AGNI party (with readings) on Thursday.  We’re looking forward to even more program parties over the weekend, and wish you all the very best of luck in your final papers and exams!

Now for some Friday links:

What you should read next.

I recently read Jeffrey Eugenides’ hugely entertaining The Marriage Plot

Why the marriage plot need never get old.

Truman Capote’s poignant short story, “A Christmas Memory.”

Five subway haiku.

Don’t let go of the potato?  Here’s a foreign idiom quiz from the Atlantic.

Robert Pinsky in the New Yorker this week.

And this week’s fiction, by Elizabeth McKenzie, which I was quite moved by.

Why you should never date a writer.

A couple Advent poems: “Expectans Expectavi” by Anne Ridler and “The Minor Prophets” by Michael Lind.

Happy holidays, all!

Ani Gjika’s translations in World Literature Today, AGNI, and more

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Ani Gjika (Poetry 2010) has been hard at work, translating the latest collection of poetry by Luljeta Lleshanaku, the leading poet of Ani’s native Albania.  Quite a few of these translations have recently appeared in nationally and internationally acclaimed literary magazines such as World Literature Today, AGNI Online, Plume, and From the Fishouse.  (Click on the links to read the translations.)

Congratulations, Ani!

Born and raised in Albania, Ani Gjika moved to the U.S. at age 18. She is a 2010 Robert Pinsky Global Fellow and winner of a 2010 Robert Fitzgerald Translation Prize. Her first book, Bread on Running Waters, (Fenway Press, 2013) was a finalist for the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and 2011 May Sarton New Hampshire Book Prize. Her poems and translations from the Albanian language have appeared in Salamander, Seneca Review, Silk Road Review, AGNI Online, World Literature Today, From the Fishouse and elsewhere.

Tara Skurtu published in Plume

Skurtu photo standing 1 Martha Stewart

We’re so pleased to see Tara Skurtu’s poem, “Indian River at Dusk,” in Plume.  Read it here, and enjoy her wonderful wit, as in lines like this one:

God was a word person. After two
Hail Marys and an Our Father I’d be
good again.

Congratulations, Tara!

Tara Skurtu is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. Her work appears in Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Plume, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Dalhousie Review, Los Angeles Review, Poet Lore, Tahoma Literary Review, Salamander, B O D Y, and the minnesota review, and it’s been translated into Romanian and Hungarian. This spring she’ll be teaching incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program.

Emma Duffy-Comparone’s debut story leads Pushcart Prize

Emma Duffy-ComparoneWe’re thrilled to announce that Emma Duffy-Comparone’s story, “The Zen Thing,” is the lead story of 2015′s Pushcart Prize anthology!  According to the introduction by Bill Henderson, it’s the first time in the history of the prize that an author’s first-published story has been chosen to lead the collection.

Hearty congratulations, Emma!

You can read an interview with Emma and a snippet of “The Zen Thing” here.

Emma Duffy-Comparone’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pushcart Prize XXXIX, Ploughshares, One Story, American Scholar, Southern Review, Mississippi Review, Cincinnati Review, and The Sun. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is a lecturer at Tufts University.

Sasenarine Persaud’s latest book and news

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Sase Persaud reading at the BBC in Glasgow.

We’re excited to announce that Sasenarine Persaud has just published a new book of poetry, Love in a Time of Technology!  The book includes poems dedicated to Robert Pinsky and Derek Walcott.  Sase has recently returned from his book launch in Toronto, and you can see the announcement for it here.

In addition, Sase had a very productive summer in the UK, where he took part in eight literary events, including a reading and discussion on poetry and poetics, culture, homelands and exiles at the BBC in Glasgow. He also gave an interview and a reading at the Empire Café in Glasgow to an audience of about two-hundred. In Edinburgh, Sase gave two readings at the Saltire Society and three readings at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). He opened the 2014 edition of the EIBF with a solo reading called “10 at 10,” in addition to reading with three other poets for an event called “Voices of the Caribbean Diaspora.” His final appearance at the EIBF was at”Jura Unbound,” an evening of poetry, music and reflections.  And, if that weren’t enough, Sase’s poem, “Georgetown,” was printed and distributed on postcards by the BBC.

Hearty congratulations, Sase!

Sasenarine Persaud is the author of twelve books of fiction and poetry. His awards include: The KM Hunter Foundation Award (Toronto) and fellowships from the University of Miami and Boston University. Persaud initiated the term Yogic Realism to define his literary aesthetics. His most recent books are Love in a Time of Technology (TSAR Books, Toronto, 2014), Lantana Strangling Ixora (TSAR Books, Toronto, 2011), Unclosed Entrances: Selected Poems (Caribbean Press, Warwick & Georgetown, 2011) and In a Boston Night (TSAR, Toronto, 2008).

He has been described as “one of those rare poets who gets the recipe of humanness exactly right” (Canadian Literature); and his poetry as “miniature rags, sensuous units of Indian music obeying conventions mysterious to western ears” (The Globe and Mail). Persaud was born in Guyana and has lived in Canada for several years. He tarries in Florida.

Literary Links

Sharon-Olds

A young Sharon Olds.

We’ve had a fantastic and busy week here at BU Creative Writing.  The Writers at the Black Box reading was on Tuesday, which featured fiction MFA Caroline De Lacvivier and poetry MFA Jess Stokes, as well as fiction alum Dariel Suarez.  Last night, we got to hear Sharon Olds and Renee Emerson read at the Robert Lowell Memorial Poetry Reading: such a treat!  Both poets were so warm and engaging, and have “kindred imaginations,” as Robert Pinsky puts it–both of them read from work that was intimate and lyrical and deeply personal.

Tonight, we’re headed to the Breakwater Reading Series at 7.  Come hear some new work by students from Boston’s MFA programs!

Here are some literary links to start out your weekend:

A breathtaking poem by Renee Emerson, the first one she read to us yesterday evening.

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Renee Emerson

Literary comics.

David Sedaris reads Miranda July.

Cheeses and their literary counterparts.

Two poems by Sharon Olds, one looking back and one looking forward.

Louise Glück just won the National Book Award for poetry!

An interview with Ha Jin about his new novel, A Map of Betrayal.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa Hiton is Poet of the Week on The Paris-American

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Brava to Lisa Hiton, who is this week’s featured poet on The Paris-American!  From the poem:

Tail plumes stretched like sharp swords, then recoiling. I followed it thinking it was
a kookaburra. With every inch I advanced, it changed

its song—unrecognizable cries, stolen from the throats of others. Liar.

Read the rest of the poem, “The Lyrebird,” here.

Congratulations, Lisa!

Lisa Hiton holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, and The Cortland Review, among others. She has received the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize.

Kelly Morse’s recent poetry news

Morse HeadshotKelly Morse’s poetry has been receiving all manner of publicity on the internet!  Her poem ‘Nobody Leaves Anybody in Winter’ was nominated for the Best of the Net  2014 Anthology by apt magazine, and she was interviewed for The Writer’s Job, a website featuring writers who work in non-traditional writing jobs.

Kelly also published a book review and a guest post about Vietnamese poetry in the translation journal M-DASH, a translation project she started in Rosanna Warren’s translation seminar at BU. Two of her translations are forthcoming in Asymptote Journal in January of 2015.  In addition, Kelly recently received a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, where she is headed in February.
Congratulations, Kelly!

Kelly Morse is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, and translator. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brevity, Alimentum, Quarter After Eight and elsewhere, while her translations are forthcoming in Asymptote. A graduate of Boston University’s MFA program, she has had work nominated for Best of the Net, and she is a Vermont Studio Center fellowship recipient.

Lucy Teitler published in Trop

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I’m so happy to share that Lucy Teitler, a writer from my own class (Fiction ’13) has published a short story in Trop!  The story is called “Bakersfield,” and you can read it here.  She wrote the first draft of it for our workshop with Leslie Epstein.  Discussions in that class, Lucy says, led to heavy revisions that she made over the course of a year.

Hearty congratulations, Lucy!

Lucy Teitler is a Contributing Writer at Motherboard, the tech section of VICE Media. Her full-length play, Engagements, will be produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York in March. “Bakersfield” is her first published (fiction) story.