Sarah Huener a finalist in Pocataligo Poetry Contest

SONY DSCMore great news from Creative Writing program alumni!  Sarah Huener’s poem, “Zagreb, October,” was named a finalist in the Pocataligo Poetry Contest, which is held annually by Yemassee.  Sarah says she wrote the poem while on her Global Fellowship travels in Croatia.

Hurrah!  Way to go, Sarah!

Sarah Huener is a poet and musician from North Carolina. She studied poetry at UNC Chapel Hill, and recently received her MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. This fall Sarah traveled in Croatia and Israel as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. She is working on her first book.


Ryan Wilson’s latest publications

DSC04176Publications abound for Ryan Wilson, whose poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in a slew of journals! His poem, “After the Sonogram,” appears in the new issue of Iron Horse Literary Review, and “Goths” was published in the most recent issue of 32 Poems. In addition, Ryan wrote this essay review for their ‘Marginalia’ series.

Congratulations, Ryan!

Ryan Wilson was born in Griffin, Georgia. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University, and another from Boston University. His work has appeared in a number of journals, such as Able Muse, The Hopkins Review, The Journal, Measure, River Styx, Sewanee Theological Review, and Unsplendid. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at The Catholic University of America, and he lives in Baltimore with his wife.

Mai Wang Receives Emerging Artists Award

mai-wangHearty congratulations to Mai Wang! A current MFA candidate in fiction, Mai recently received an Emerging Artists Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation.  The St. Botolph club gives grants to exceptional writers, visual artists, and musicians who are beginning their careers.

We’re so proud of you, Mai!

Mai Wang graduated from Yale University, where she was an English major in the Writing Concentration. A former beauty blogger, she has written for print and digital publications such as Upstreet Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Yahoo Shine. In 2013, she was the Writer-in-Residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, NE. In her writing, she explores themes of immigration and national identity. She is currently working on a novel set in Beijing that is based on her mother’s experience in the Cultural Revolution.

Happy Friday from BU Creative Writing


“We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.”

–Louise Erdrich


Hello, all!  Tomorrow is the birthday of Louise Erdrich.  She will be 60.  Here’s a recent story by her.

Oh, no! Apparently, exclamation marks are unstoppable!

Great Scott!  Here’s a poem by Scott Ruescher, a friend of mine.

The New Yorker thinks John Green is the man.  He’s wicked smart, and his novels ask questions about forgiveness, death and mortality, and what makes life meaningful.  I expect throngs of teenage girls and tissues in disarray at the The Fault in Our Stars viewing tonight.

But here’s an essay positing that adults should not read young adult books.  Check out the riveting comments, too.

How to write better than you normally do.

And once more this summer, why not read this essay by E.B. White?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Summer Reading, Part 1


“When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness–and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”

–Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Summer is upon us. Huzzah!

Here are books that 1) take place in summer, 2) you maybe haven’t read yet, 3) are coming-of-age stories (because who doesn’t love coming-of-age stories in summer?):

*Be careful with spoilers in these links!*

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon.
The plot isn’t much, but 1) it’s fun to read what Chabon sounded like at 24, and 2) I’m a sucker for those sentences (and lost protagonists who cry at dinner).

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster.
Lucy Churchill + art + Italy + smart, strange dude.  I mean, what’s not to like about this.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
A girl grows up in pre-hipster Williamsburg, wielding her wild imagination against poverty.  Hurrah!

First Love by Ivan Turgenev.
Narrated by a teenage boy in the throes of his first love, it’s at times funny, at times bizarre, and everyone is an emotional wreck.  (Like adolescence, right?) And it’s a Ha Jin recommendation!

Summer by Edith Wharton.
I haven’t read this, but has anyone read it, and could you post below?

And just for fun, here’s some advice from famous writers about drinking.

And also just for fun, listen to Paul Schoenfield’s Cafe Music.  Sounds like summer mischief!

Tara Skurtu published in Memorious

Skurtu pic

Tara Skurtu has published two poems in issue 22 of Memorious, which went live yesterday!  View the issue here, and read Tara’s poems: “Şoricel” and “Discovery: Negative Return.”

Congrats, 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.

Daphne Kalotay to read at Newtonville Books tomorrow!


Daphne Kalotay’s newest novel, Sight Reading, has won the 2014 New England Society Book Award for Fiction and has been selected as a Highly Recommended book by the Boston Authors Club.  Congratulations, Daphne!

Daphne will be reading from Sight Reading at Newtonville Books on Thursday, May 29, at 7 and at the Brookline Booksmith on Thursday June 12.

From the novel:

“The thing to keep in mind,” the man said, tapping his baton at the podium for them to stop, “is that what the music asks of us isn’t always spelled out on the page. We might need to slow down even where there’s no ritardando written, or rush forward where there’s just a crescendo mark. Tempo is about more than just speed.”  He said this casually, as if the thought had just occurred to him.

“It’s about the passage of time, really. In our lives—not just on the page. You know how sometimes everything seems to keep rushing forward, but then at other times things are peaceful and still?  How sometimes we feel stuck in time, or just plodding along day by day—and then suddenly it’s as if time’s passed us by, or we’re being hurried along, too quickly?  That’s what tempo is really about.  That’s what we’re expressing.  Not just how fast or how slowly the music moves.  It’s about how fast and slow life moves.”

Happy birthday, Adrienne Rich! and literary links


“A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill, what and when to burn, or even how to theorize. It reminds you… where and when and how you are living and might live, it is a wick of desire.”    -Adrienne Rich

Today is the birthday of Adrienne Rich!  She would have been eighty-five.  Here, she reads “Diving into the Wreck.”

And now some links for your weekend:

One of my favorite essays by Joan Didion (not that I have read that much of her work).

Come hear current MFA students and alum at Writers at the Black Box next Tuesday night!

BU alum Mimi Lipson will be reading at Newtonville Books on Wednesday.

The website for Miranda July’s collection of stories is just delightful.  The book itself is delightful too (or at least I think so).

In fact, I assigned this to my class this year.

According to Steve Almond, you should seriously read Stoner right now.

Anne Lamott tells us how to handle haters.

Make a cocktail Hemingway would be proud of.

“Live like a mighty river”: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son.

Neat idea for a notebook, ya?

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Renee Emerson publishes debut book of poetry


Wonderful news for Renee Emerson, whose beautiful book of poems, Keeping Me Still, has just been published! You can buy a copy and read more about the book here.

From the publisher:  ”…a collection of poems like keepsakes of what is lost and gained as we move on, grow, and reach for something bigger–always with hope.”

Congratulations, Renee!

Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014). Her poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Christianity and Literature, Indiana Review, Literary Mama, Southern Humanities Review, storySouth, and elsewhere. Renee teaches creative writing and composition at a small Christian university in Georgia, where she lives with her husband and daughters.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura receives Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellowship

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura pic for blog copy Poet Luisa Caycedo-Kimura has been nominated for another writing residency!  She’ll spend a week in Ragsdale, a non-profit artists’ community in Lake Forest, 30 miles outside of Chicago, located on architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s country estate. It looks like a gorgeous, quiet place to write.

Way to go, Luisa! and we hope you have a wonderful and productive time.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura is a poet and translator. She was born in Colombia and grew up in New York City. A former attorney, she left the legal profession to pursue her passion for writing. Luisa has received various awards for her poetry and was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prize. Last fall Luisa travelled to Spain as a Robert Pinsky Global fellow. Most recently, Luisa was awarded the 2014 John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Jelly Bucket, Connecticut Review, Louisiana Literature, PALABRA, San Pedro River Review, Crack the Spine, Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, and elsewhere.