Duy Doan wins Yale Younger Poets Prize

03.26.17 - NELN - Duy Doan photo

We’re so proud of Duy Doan (Poetry ’10), who recently won the Yale Younger Poets Prize!  You can read a feature about Duy in the Boston Globe here.

Carl Phillips, critically acclaimed poet and judge of the competition, says, “If games figure in Duy Doan’s We Play a Game, they do so much more seriously, and resonantly, than the title alone suggests. For game here can mean as well the strategies for weathering those parts of society that threaten identity itself, at the level of gender (in all its fluidity), or race, of family as history and tradition – of language, too, and our expectations for it. Wide-ranging in subject, Doan’s poems include boxing, tongue twisters, hedgehogs, Billie Holiday, soccer and, hardly least of all, a Vietnamese heritage that butts up against an American upbringing in ways at once comic, estranging, off-kiltering. Doan negotiates the distance between surviving and thriving, and offers here his own form of meditation on, ultimately, childhood, history, culture – who we are, and how – refusing all along to romanticize any of it.”

We Play a Game will be published by Yale University Press in April 2018. Congratulations, Duy!

Duy Doan is a Vietnamese American poet from Texas. A Kundiman fellow, he received his MFA in poetry from Boston University. His poems have appeared in SlateThe Cortland ReviewBest Emerging PoetsStay Thirsty MagazineAmethyst Arsenic, and elsewhere. Duy has taught at Boston University, Lesley University, and the Boston Conservatory. He is the director of the Favorite Poem Project, which celebrates the role of poetry in the lives of Americans. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Lisa Hiton publishes poetry chapbook

Lisa Hiton’s chapbovariation-on-testimony-croppedok, Variation on Testimony, has recently been published by Cutbank!  The manuscript was a finalist for the 2016 Cutbank Chapbook Contest.  You can click here to order a copy.

On her new chapbook, Lisa says, “When a poet sits down every few years to put poems in an order, new themes and ideas arise from the order itself. Variation on Testimony contains poems that, when gathered together, question narrative authority, especially in the face of violence—about who performs violence and whose body receives violence. From putting this chapbook together, I learned a lot about how my practice as a filmmaker informs this specific collection of poems and the role of fictive spectacle in my understanding of America as I endured my twenties. I’m especially grateful to the brilliant artist, Hernan Marin, who made the art for the cover of this book. His aptitude with breaking a whiteness by using shadow instead of light frames the speaker and speakers in these pages with the profoundly overbearing sense of transience present in our inner lives.”

Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa, and congratulations!

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 New SouthLinebreak, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and LAMBDA Literary among others.  Her chapbook, Variation on Testimony, is out now from CutBank Literary. She is the interviews editor of Cosmonauts Avenue and the poetry editor for The Adroit Journal.

Caroline Woods’s novel to be published in the UK!


We’re thrilled to announce that Caroline Woods’s debut novel, Fräulein M. (Tyrus Books/Simon & Schuster), will be released on February 23, 2017 in the UK as The Cigarette Girl (HQ Stories/HarperCollinsUK). The Cigarette Girl is available for pre-order here: amzn.to/2kC89K5

Fräulein M./The Cigarette Girl is a work of historical fiction about the end of the Weimar Republic as seen through the eyes of women—both cis- and transgender—whose lives are irrevocably changed when Hitler comes to power.

Congratulations, Caroline!

Caroline Woods (Fiction 2008) has taught fiction writing and freshman composition at BU and the Boston Conservatory. Her short fiction has been published in Slice Magazine (which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize), LEMON, and 236, BU Creative Writing’s Literary Journal. She has also written for The Scene and has received two Glimmer Train honorable mentions. You can learn more about Caroline at www.carolinewoodswriter.com. Follow her on Twitter @carocour.

Recommended Reading From Our MFAs

bowiereading-2Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A: Reading.

-David Bowie, who would have been 70 last Sunday, answering the Proust Questionnaire

Below are a few of the books that our current MFAs read over winter break:


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
-Kate Selker, fiction

Dante’s Inferno, trans. by Robert Pinsky and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, ed. Sari Botton
-Annie Diamond, poetry

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
-Jowhor Ile, fiction

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Physical by Andrew McMillan
-Dan Grover, poetry

New American Stories, ed. Ben Marcus and Bleak House by Charles Dickens
-Fredric Sinclair, fiction

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence and White Teeth by Zadie Smith
-Vandana Saras, fiction

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy and House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
-Lisa Taddeo-Waite, fiction

Happy reading, all!

-BU Creative Writing

Tara Skurtu publishes chapbook


More good news from poetry alum ’13 Tara Skurtu!  Eyewear Publishing is publishing her chapbook, Skurtu, Romania, a collection of poems she wrote from her experience in Romania during her Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. The book launch is tonight in London, 7 Pm at Koppell Gallery! The book is also appearing simultaneously in Romanian through Editura Charmides, translated by Radu Vancu.

From the back cover:

“In Skurtu, Romania, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her family’s forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in this foreign place through the dynamic of an alienating love story. Tara Skurtu’s poems have the logic of memory, the vivid spontaneity of dreams, and the precision of calculus—each line is, in a sense, an asymptote continually approaching the limits of language and love. This poetry holds a lens over every moment, alters the perception of home, invites the reader in as both foreigner and guest.”

Congratulations, Tara!


Tara Skurtu’s book to be published by Eyewear Publishing

Skurtu photo Eyewear announceWe’re so excited to announce that Tara Skurtu’s book, The Amoeba Game, has been acquired by Eyewear Publishing!  It will be released in the fall of 2017.  In addition, the Romanian translation by Romanian poet Radu Vancu will be released this fall by Charmides.

Tara (Poetry ’13) traveled to Romania on a Fulbright last academic year, and the Fulbright Commission has renewed her Fulbright for this fall semester. This month, she will be giving a lecture on “Why is poetry so important?” in Bucharest.  The lecture is part of The Power of Storytelling, an annual conference “built around the idea that stories can change our world.”  This year’s speakers include Cheryl Strayed and Colin Meloy from The Decemberists.  Next month, Tara is traveling to Turkey to read at the Nilüfer International Poetry Festival in Bursa.

Congratulations, Tara!  We’re happy for you and will be on the lookout for your book next fall.

Tara Skurtu teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara’s poems have been translated into Romanian and Hungarian, and her recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Plume, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Common, and Tahoma Literary Review


Sarah Huener wins Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize

SONY DSCSarah Huener (Poetry ’13) has won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize!  She wrote the prize-winning poem, “To Pluto,” while in the MFA program at BU.  The competition is held annually by StorySouth and was judged by poet Sarah Rose Nordgren this year.

From the poem:

It was only afterward
we found our figures

false, learned we had climbed
ghost ladders to accidental height.

We’d followed numbers
into night to scan

for matter, discovered
you, distant almost-planet—

but in the end you let
too many others in…

Read the full poem here.  Congratulations, Sarah!

Sarah Huener received her BA from UNC Chapel Hill and her MFA from Boston University, after which she traveled in Croatia and Israel as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. Sarah’s recent work can or will be found in The Collagist, New Delta Review, the Greensboro Review, Salamander, and in the North Carolina volume of the Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2015). She was named the winner of the 2016 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize for her poem “To Pluto,” and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sarah reviews poetry for the North Carolina Literary Review.

Dammy Aderibigbe interviewed in Prairie Schooner


We’re excited to share this interview with D.M. “Dammy” Aderibigbe (Poetry ’16), which appeared in Prairie Schooner this week!  Dammy recently published his chapbook, In Praise of Our Absent Father, and it was selected for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series.

From the interview:

“…I had left my Nigeria and been to Morocco, Mexico, Barbados and of course the United States where I live now. This meant stepping out of my grandmother’s gray hair for the first time. This meant stepping out of my 6-year old sister’s tiny teeth for the first time. This meant learning things like sand, air, water, etc., all over again. You know, that’s some kind of redefinition. This alteration in my life has had an enormous impact on my approach to writing… Studying under great teachers such as Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz and Karl Kirchwey has made me a better critic of my poems. They have helped dig out the tooth I never knew I had. Now, I am not scared to pluck out words, lines or stanzas I find not working in a poem.”

Congratulations, Dammy!

D.M. Aderibigbe is from Nigeria. His chapbook, In Praise of Our Absent Father, is an APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series selection. He is a recipient of 2015 Honours from Dickinson House and The Entrekin Foundation.His poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, cream city review, DIAGRAM, Normal School, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, RATTLE, and Spillway, which nominated him for the 2017 Puschcart Prize. He’s been featured on Verse Daily. His first manuscript received a special mention in the 2015 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.

Caitlin Doyle Featured on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series


We’re pleased to share that Caitlin Doyle (Poetry ’08) has been featured on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series!  PBS spoke with Caitlin about how she started writing, her thoughts on form and sound in poetry, and the history of the bikini. The feature highlights her poem “A Brief History of the Bikini” and includes a recording of Caitlin reading the piece.

Following her graduation from the MFA program as the George Starbuck Fellow in Poetry, Caitlin has received a number of prestigious awards, fellowships, Writer-In-Residence teaching posts, and publication credits. Her most recent honors include a Yaddo Colony fellowship and a Writer-In-Residence fellowship at the James Merrill House in Stonington, CT.  Caitlin also served as the Fall 2015 Visiting Writer at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.

Her writing is currently forthcoming in multiple publications and book anthologies, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Golden Shovel Anthology (University of Arkansas Press), and Bared: An Anthology (Les Femmes Folles Books).

She’s pursuing her PhD as an Elliston Fellow in Poetry at the University of Cincinnati. We’re thrilled to hear about Caitlin’s continued success. Congratulations, Caitlin!

Caitlin Doyle’s poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, The Threepenny Review, Black Warrior Review, and others. Her poetry has also been published in several anthologies, including The Best Emerging Poets of 2013, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and Best New Poets 2009. She has held Writer-In-Residence teaching positions at Penn State, St. Albans School, and Interlochen Arts Academy. Caitlin’s awards and fellowships include the Margaret Bridgman Scholarship through the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Amy Award in Poetry through Poets & Writers, a MacDowell fellowship, the Tennessee Williams Scholarship through the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Yaddo fellowship. She has also received Writer-In-Residence fellowships through the James Merrill House and the Kerouac Project. She is currently pursuing her PhD as an Elliston Fellow in Poetry at the University of Cincinnati, where she teaches in the department of English and Comparative Literature.

Lisa Hiton published in Vinyl, semi-finalist for Pamet River Prize


We’re delighted to share that Lisa Hiton has recently published her gorgeous poem “Dream of My Father’s Shiva, Atlantis, 1450/3074” in Vinyl!  In addition, Lisa was a semi-finalist for the Pamet River Prize with YesYes Books, an annual contest for full-length books of poetry or prose.

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 Linebreak, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and LAMBDA Literary among others. Her first book has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Brittingham & Felix Pollack Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Review first book prize, and the YesYes Books open reading period. She has received the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize.