Creative Writing Program Director Karl Kirchwey featured in BU Today

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Karl Kirchwey teaching poetry MFA candidates in the historic room 222.

We’re so pleased to see this article about Karl Kirchwey in BU Today!  In addition to being the director of the Creative Writing Program, Karl is an award-winning poet, scholar, translator, arts curator, and teacher of poetry.  His work inquires deeply into a vast array of disparate subjects, including physics, biology, Roman history, religion, and mythology–to name just a few.  On Karl, Robert Pinsky says, “In a period when some American poets have been concerned either with the problematic nature of language on one side, or the nuances of individual psychology on the other, the presence of historical reality in Kirchwey’s work is to be honored.”

We’re grateful to have Karl as both our program director and professor of one of the graduate-level poetry workshops.  On teaching, Karl says, “For me, the opportunity to talk about poems in the company of other people who care about poetry is huge—it’s a huge privilege and an opportunity.”

Read the full article here.

Literary Links

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A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776.

We’ve been quite busy here at BU Creative Writing — on Tuesday, Katie McGunagle and Nina Palisano read at Writers at the Black Box, the first one of the year! — and tonight, Jeff Huizinga and Daniel Leonard will be reading at the Breakwater Reading Series at Brookline Booksmith (7 PM).  Please come support our current MFA candidates!

Here are some literary links to start off your fall weekend:

Check out this new independent press, Eyewear, based in the UK.  (They’re open to submission queries.)

Pinsky, Wine, & Jazz tomorrow night.

I’ve been reading Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, modeled after M.F.K. Fisher’s classic How to Cook a Wolf, and it’s filled with delightful and philosophical meditations on food and living.

“It’s possible to bend language to your will, to invest extraordinary amounts of effort and care to make words do what you want them to do.” – Seth Godin

The George Saunders Fan Club (me + three reading friends) is reading “Victory Lap” for next week’s meeting.  Did you know George has a B.S. in geophysical engineering from Colorado School of Mines?

Yesterday was Oscar Wilde’s birthday. Here are a few of his Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated.

Happy Friday from BU Creative Writing, and we hope your weekend is filled with wild and whirling words.

Black Box reading tonight!

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Leanne Hoppe published by Driftwood Press

lhWe’re excited to announce that Leanne Hoppe (poetry ’14) has had a poem published in Driftwood Press! The poem, inspired by the film El Topo, is called “Western,” and is followed by a brief interview.  Leanne says, “When something happens that I think about for a long time, I like to try and write it.”

By the way, be sure to check out her excellent blog as she travels the US and Europe as a Global Fellow here.

Congratulations, Leanne!

Leanne Hoppe is a 2013-2014 MFA candidate in poetry at Boston University. She likes copyediting, bicycling, and goats.

Literary Links

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Happy Friday from BU Creative Writing!

Here are some literary links for your weekend:

This week was the kickoff of Robert Pinsky’s Art of Poetry MOOC, and we’re excited that it now has over 15,000 students.

Be sure to check out our current Global Fellows’ blogs.

Leslie Epstein’s Pinto and Sons–eleven years in the making–is now available in digital format on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Googlebooks, and Smashwords.  Congratulations, L!

Liz Danzico on choosing one thing to do every day.

A fascinating, moving conversation with Marilynne Robinson.

Christopher Hitchens on the word “like.”

A metaphor for writing and for life, from choreographer Merce Cunningham: “Falling is one of the ways of moving.”

How to be polite (and more importantly, how to have empathy).

An exquisite poem I recently discovered by Sharon Bryan.

The creator of the marshmallow test on self-control.

Hope your weekends are filled with wild and whirling words.

236 Call for Submissions

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Dear BU Creative Writing Alumni,

We plan to release a new issue of 236, the MFA alumni journal, in December!

236 is looking for:

1. Fiction and poetry from alumni of the BU Creative Writing program.  Please send up to 2 pieces of prose and/or up to 5 poems.  Previously published work is fine.

2. Essays on craft, and/or essays about something valuable you learned from a Creative Writing faculty member.  (Between 1,000 – 3,000 words)

3. One poetry alum to interview Karl Kirchwey, the program’s new director, for the upcoming issue.

Deadline: October 22, 2014

Please send your work to Catherine Con at crwr@bu.edu with the subject line: 236 submission, or snail mail it to her at:

Creative Writing Program
236 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

Tracey Knapp wins 42 Miles Press Poetry Award

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Hearty congratulations to Tracey Knapp (poetry ’04), whose first book of poems, Mouth, has won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award!  Mouth will be published by 42 Miles Press (Indiana University) in September 2015.  You can read a poem from it here.

On writing the book, Tracey says,

It took a couple years after finishing my degree in poetry at Boston University before a clear path and voice began to emerge out of the many different directions my studies took me. I continued to take workshops outside of academia to keep myself on course, and eventually I was able to hold a group of poems in my hands and say, “Yes, this makes a book.”

Congrats, Tracey!

Tracey Knapp’s first book of poems, Mouth, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2014 and will be published in 2015. Her manuscript was also a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro Prize.  She has received scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fund. Mark Strand and Claudia Emerson each selected her poems for Best New Poets 2008 and 2010. Other work has appeared in Five Points, The National Poetry Review, Red Wheelbarrow Review, The New Ohio Review, The Minnesota Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Connotation Press and elsewhere.  Tracey earned a BFA in visual arts at Syracuse University, a Master’s degree in English at Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Poetry at Boston University in 2004.

Tara Skurtu’s upcoming readings

Skurtu photo standing 1 Martha StewartGlobe-trotting poet Tara Skurtu (poetry ’13) will be reading at an international poetry festival in Transylvania this coming weekend!  (Sibiu, Romania)  The festival includes twenty-three poets from thirteen countries (three continents).   Tara also read at RoHAM Bar in Budapest on the 15th and taught a workshop at the University of Szeged on the 16th through the Department of American Studies.

Congratulations, Tara!

Tara Skurtu teaches Creative Writing at Boston University, where she received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She was named one of Lloyd Schwartz’s 6 Favorite New Poets on WBUR’s Here and Now. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry Review, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Dalhousie Review, the minnesota review, B O D Y, and The Los Angeles Review.
Sibiu Festival 2014

Madelyn Rosenberg’s recent publications

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It’s been a productive year for Madelyn Rosenberg (fiction ’02), who has recently had three books published!  Dream Boy, a young adult novel that Rosenburg co-authored with one of her good friends, was released on July 1.  How to Behave at a Tea Party, illustrated by Heather Ross, came out last Tuesday, and Nanny X, a middle-grade novel, came out just yesterday.
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TEAPARTYCOVER (1) Congratulations, Madelyn!

Madelyn Rosenberg graduated from BU’s creative writing program in 2002. A former newspaper reporter, she is now a freelance writer in Arlington, Va., where she lives with her family. Since graduating from BU, Madelyn has focussed primarily on writing for children. Her books include The Schmutzy Family, Happy Birthday, Tree, A Tu B’Shevat Story and Canary in the Coal Mine.

The Latest on Kimberly Elkins’ What Is Visible

Kimberly Elkins

Kimberly Elkins’ (fiction ’10) debut novel, What Is Visible (Grand Central/Twelve, 6/14) continues to garner critical acclaim! It received a wonderful review by Barbara Kingsolver on the cover of the New York Times Book Review and was picked as a NYTBR Editors’ Choice, in addition to being chosen as The Most Inspirational Book of 2014 by Woman’s Day, listed in Best Summer Debuts by the LA Times and Library Journal, and awarded the June Top Fiction Pick by Bookpage. What Is Visible was also featured recently on NBC’s Weekend Today Show, and on NPR Weekend Edition.

According to the Washington Post, “Elkins makes this great American woman visible again, in all her remarkable, fully human complexity”: The Atlanta Constitution-Journal calls the book “a literary triumph,” and the Toronto Star named it “a tour de force, uplifting and powerful.”  The Atlantic Monthly says:

“Kimberly Elkins gives Bridgman her defiant due in re-imagining her fascinating, now-forgotten story… The world Elkins discovers within is anything but muted. In tactile prose, she evokes a soul and a body with hungers (yes, there is sex) that none of Bridgman’s guides begins to imagine.”

Note that WIV is published by a division of Hachette, and so the battle between Amazon and Hachette is having a profound negative impact on sales–the book couldn’t even be pre-ordered!—so if you’re going to buy it, please don’t buy from Amazon.

Congratulations, Kimberly!