Poets Who Sound Like Spring

Three BU poetry alums–Natasha Hakimi, Mike Brokos, and Sophie Grimes–have been featured in Stay Thirsty magazine!  The quarterly column was written by Abriana Jette, who is a BU alum herself.  Congrats, poets!

 

Laura Marris published in Meridian

 

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Laura Marris, a lecturer in poetry at BU, has recently published a review-essay in Meridian on Frank Bidart and his book Metaphysical Dog. From the essay:

“The greater the distance between the artist and the illusion he or she wishes to create, the more poignant the desire to make art. Much of Frank Bidart’s work engages with this process and with the body as a (worthy or unworthy) instrument of illusion. But for a poet who has made a medium of the body, what does it mean to be metaphysical?”

Well done, Laura!

Laura Marris graduated from Yale in 2010 and holds an MFA from Boston University. She is a winner of the Daniel Varoujan Prize from the New England Poetry Club, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in H.O.W. JournalDMQ Review, and Secousse. She teaches poetry at BU.

 

Anthony Wallace’s novel named finalist for PEN/Hemingway Award

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Fantastic news for Anthony (Tony) Wallace, whose novel The Old Priest has been named a finalist for the 2014 PEN/ Hemingway Award!  What a great honor.  We at Creative Writing are proud and impressed!

Tony in The Times.

As a finalist, Tony will attend the awards ceremony at the Kennedy Library on April 6 and also get a one-month residency at Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

A hearty congratulations, Tony!

Tony Wallace first came to Boston as a Teaching Fellow in BU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, where he studied fiction writing with Leslie Epstein and Allegra Goodman, and literary translation with Rosanna Warren. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Arts and Sciences Writing Program, where he has taught seminars on American literature for the past thirteen years. He is also Co-Director of Arts Now, a curriculum-based initiative to support the arts at BU. He has published poetry and short fiction in literary journals such as CutBank, The Atlanta Review, River Styx, Another Chicago Magazine, The Florida Review, and The Republic of Letters. He has twice been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award. His short story “The Old Priest” won a 2012 Pushcart Prize, and in 2013 his personal essay “In a Room with Rothko” received a Pushcart “Special Mention.” In 2013 he was also awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his short story collection The Old Priest, which has been published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Most recently The Old Priest has been named a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Award.

World Poetry Day

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Hello all!

Today is World Poetry Day, and pretty soon I’m headed to hear some at the Breakwater Reading Series.  So come join us, or at least put a poem in your pocket.

Some links from around the web on this sunny Friday:

“Sestina” was the first Elizabeth Bishop poem I ever read.

I find this funny every time: Keats’ “To Mrs. Reynold’s Cat.”

A student shared this with me: the shape of stories, according to Kurt Vonnegut.  (My student showed me ‘before’ and ‘after’ shapes of his story for class, pre and post revisions.  Love that.)

Speaking of students, here are some poems my EN202 writers read last year:

Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Salt.”

Margaret Atwood’s “Variation(s) on the Word Sleep.”  Some students found this creepy, but others thought it beautiful.

“Father” by Ted Kooser.

And, because it’s fun to see what the kids are reading these days, here are some poems that those same students shared with me:

“someone should write me a love poem but I’m stuck doing it myself” by Daphne Gottlieb.  Yes. My thoughts exactly.

“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe.

“Dinner Guest: Me” by Langston Hughes.

They have pretty good taste, right?  Happy Friday, and feel free to post a link to a poem below!

 

 

 

Happy Friday from BU Creative Writing

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Poet Anne Sexton.

Hello all!

Hope your spring breaks have been lovely.  Despite campus being pretty quiet, we kept busy here in CW preparing for the upcoming Annual Faculty Reading and Global Fellowship voyages.  I also had a chance to go to PoemJazz, Literary Jeopardy/a Steve Almond reading, a Ulysses discussion group, and two live comedy shows. Whew!  Did you go to any literary events over spring break?  We’d love to hear about it–leave a comment below!  Here are some links for your Friday:

 

Woody Allen talks humor writing in The Paris Review.

Sleep habits of famous writers.

One of my favorite poems that was performed at PoemJazz (scroll down to “Street Music”).

Recommendations for how to read Ulysses.

Girls and the word “bossy.”

A former student (and huge Dave Eggers fan) shared this story with me.

Have a fun weekend!

PoemJazz in the Boston Globe

12namespinskyaHere‘s an article about last night’s PoemJazz in the Globe.  I loved what Robert Pinsky was saying about how music, dance, and poetry are really one and the same.  Did you go?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment below!

Thanks to everyone who came and/or helped out at this fantastic event.  (Poster created by Robert himself.)

Qais Akbar Omar published in the New York Times

qaisExciting news for Qais Akbar Omar, one of our current students in the MFA fiction program!  Qais’ Op-Ed, “A Call From My Friend in Afghanistan,” has been published in the New York Times.

Congratulations, Qais!  Read the article here.

Qais Akbar Omar is the author of the internationally acclaimed memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers, which has been translated into fifteen languages up to date.

In A Fort of Nine Towers, which has been described by the New York Times as “a riveting story of war as seen through a child’s eyes,” Qais chronicles his family’s remarkable survival against unbelievable odds through a brutal civil war and Taliban rule. He shares their long journey through terror, loss, heartbreak and sudden moments of joy. One British writer described A Fort of Nine Towers as “a powerful reminder of the extraordinary tenacity of a culture that foreigners have repeatedly and fatally misjudged.”

Qais has been a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado researching eco-sensitive methods of carpet production. He has also studied business at Brandeis University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Boston University. Qais was awarded a 2014 – 2015 Scholars at Risk Fellowship at Harvard University. The manager of his family’s carpet business in Kabul, Qais has lectured on Afghan carpets in Afghanistan, Europe, and the United States.

For the 2012 anthology, That Mad Game: Growing up in a War Zone, Qais contributed the lead essay, A Talib In Love. With Stephen Landrigan, he has co-authored the book Shakespeare in Kabul, which was published in 2012. He has written Op-Eds for The New York Times.

One reviewer described Qais as “a weaver not only of tales but also of fine rugs, and like all good tales he mixes enchantment with terror.” Writing books, he has discovered much in common with making a carpet. “I am a carpet weaver,” he writes in the Prologue of A Fort of Nine Towers. “I understand how, slowly, one knot follows another until a pattern appears.” And so it is with words, he says.

The Friday Short List: Event Edition

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Happy birthday, Elizabeth Moon!

We have big news at 236 Bay State this week: All of our current fiction writers and poets received a Global Fellowship this year!  They can travel and write anywhere they desire in 2014.  Congratulations, all!  You can read more about that program here.

Some literary links and events to check out over BU’s spring break:

Today is the birthday of sci-fi author Elizabeth Moon.

Novelist Vivian Shotwell reads at Harvard Book Store tonight at 7.

This will be a stellar evening: Poetry & Jazz with Robert Pinsky and co. on Tuesday, 3/11, at 7:30.

Poetry Slam at the Cantab on Wednesday, 3/12, at 8 (get there by 7:30–tickets sell out fast!).

As promised last week, Dan Chiasson will read at Harvard Book Store on Thursday, 3/13, at 7:30.

826 Boston hosts Literary Jeopardy at Porter Square Books, also Thursday, 7 – 9.  We’d love it if you could donate to the BU Write-A-Thon Team to help young writers!

And in the spirit of Lent, here’s a poem I recently discovered by T.S. Eliot, which he wrote shortly after converting to Anglicanism.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Poetry + Jazz

Join us at the BU Playwright’s Theatre (949 Comm Ave) for a free evening of poetry and jazz!

Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30

Featuring BU’s very own Robert Pinsky!

and Grammy award-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood, saxophonist Stan Strickland, and bassist John Lockwood!

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Kelly Morse published in Brevity

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Great news for Kelly Morse, whose essay, Saigon, was recently published in Brevity: a Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.

“There’s no room on the sidewalk, never is, no sloped exits. A moat of trash. The man’s breath explodes as he pushes out of potholes, waits for lights amidst the motorbikes; facing forward, his shoulder-blades droop until they seem to rest upon his ribs.”

You can read the rest of this poetic and evocative essay here.  Congratulations, Kelly!

Kelly Morse returned to Vietnam in 2012 via a Robert Pinsky Global Poetry Fellowship, which allowed her time to write about her previous experiences there as a university teacher in Hanoi. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Alimentum: A Journal of Literature and Food, Side B Magazine, CAB and elsewhere. She works at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, where she directs a creative writing and cultural exchange program that brings together students from Russia, the USA, the Middle East and Northern Africa. She is currently working on a cross-genre manuscript that explores linguistic and world-view gaps between Southeast Asian and American cultures.