Happy Friday.
















Today is the birthday of novelist and civil rights activist Pearl. S. Buck, the youngest ever female Nobel laureate.  Click here to read her wisdom on creativity and writing.

And here are some links to start off your weekend:

What the folks at the New Yorker are reading this summer.

The daily routines of some famous creatives.

A story by Stuart Dybek.

Some very comma mistakes, and how to fix them.

“Another Story About Me and Some Guy” by Kathy Fish.

An underrated Beatles’ song and its background.

A poem by Frank Stamford.

Calling all past Global Fellows! Submit your work to Harvard Book Store’s travel writing anthology.

Heads up: summer warehouse sale at Harvard Book Store on Saturday and Sunday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kelly Morse Wins Translation Prize

Morse Headshot

Terrific news from Kelly Morse (poetry ’12) whose translations of censored Vietnamese poet Ly Doi recently won Lunch Ticket magazine’s Gabo Prize for Translation and Multi-Lingual Texts. Kelly says she began these translations while in Rosanna Warren’s Translation Seminar during her time in the MFA program at BU. The judge Dan Bellm, a poet and translator, had this to say about her translations:

“Boiled – Steamed – Raw,” poet Lý Đợi’s biting trio of diatribes against many forms of repression and violence in present-day Vietnam, plays brilliantly with the metaphorical structure of traditional recipes from the north, center, and south of his country. In his hands, these become the doctrinaire instruction manuals of hell, complete with helpful slogans for chanting along. But the tonal shifts, word play, and cultural and political references readily accessible to any native speaker of the language must have made this work especially daunting to translate. Kelly Morse skillfully interweaves a range of registers from high bureaucratic doublespeak and textbook blandness to Buddhist meditation, street slang and song to allow us entry into an underground, officially banned view of Vietnamese society we are unlikely to get anywhere else but in poems. “Boiled – Steamed – Raw” is very fine work.

– Dan Bellm, poet, translator, and author of Practice and Buried Treasure

Hearty 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 have appeared 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.

Tara Skurtu’s Latest Publications


Tara Skurtu (poetry ’13) continues to be one of our most prolific alumni. In addition to a Fulbright and a poem recently published on the T, Tara’s poem “Night Communion” will appear in the July issue of Plume online, “Long Poem, Bucharest” is in the spring issue of Poetry Wales, and her poems “Desire” and “Limit” appear in the newest issue of Redivider.

Tara notes that this recent work was inspired by her time in Romania, where she traveled as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow.

Congratulations, Tara!

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.

BU alumni found Prodigal literary magazine

We’re thrilled to announce the creation of Prodigal, a new literary journal of poetry and prose founded by BU Creative Writing alumni!  Its editors include Aaron Kerner (former MFA program coordinator), Michael Kinnucan, Jordan Zandi (poetry ’11) , Chiara Scully, and Nicholas Leonard (poetry ’12), and the art director is Vilija Pakalniskis.   The first issue comes out both in print and on the web this fall.  Click here to go to their website and see some of the work to be featured in the inaugural issue, and click here for the Kickstarter campaign.

Each issue has a theme, and the first issue of Prodigal explores “the tension between singular and collective identities, the ‘i’ versus ‘we.'” Contributors range from emerging to established writers both in the US and abroad, and include Ryan Patrick Frank (poetry ’04), Vanesha Pravin (poetry ’09), Sophie Grimes (poetry ’11), and Tomas Unger (poetry ’14), among others.

Prodigal opens submissions for its second issue mid-summer. Jordan Zandi writes that “it could be a great venue for graduates of the program (especially recent ones) to send their work.”  Visit the Prodigal website for more info.

Congratulations, BU MFAs!  We’re so proud of you.

Jillian Jackson Awarded SBCF Emerging Artist Grant


We’re so proud to announce that current MFA candidate Jillian Jackson has received a prestigious St. Botolph’s Club Foundation (SBCF) Emerging Artist Grant!  SBCF is dedicated to promoting artistic and cultural enterprises of New Englanders through generous grants for artists “to whom it can make a difference through the combination of financial support, recognition, and endorsement.”  Some of the Creative Writing Program’s former St. Botolph grant recipients include poet Duy Doan and fiction writers Kimberly Elkins, Mai Wang, and Emma Duffy-Comparone.  We’re so pleased to add Jillian to this great list.

Congratulations, Jill! We’re excited to read your work soon.

Jillian Jackson is an MFA Fiction candidate at Boston University. She has a degree in literature from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and she’s interned for many Boston area publishers, including David R. Godine, Shambhala Publications, and Candlewick Press. She’s the recipient of Boston University’s Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award. She lives in Allston, MA.

Ryan Wilson’s recent publications and awards

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Ryan Wilson (poetry ’08) has had an impressively productive year: he’s published work in a slew of places and received a number of prizes, all while being a doctoral candidate.

His original poem, “Beatus Ille,” and translation of Horace I.25 appear in the new issue of Measure.  His lecture, “How to Think Like a Poet,” is featured in the new issue of Dappled Things, and his essay, “Rich Refusals: Donald Justice and the New Critics” appeared in the Winter issue of The Sewanee Review.  

His poem “The View on Waking” appeared in the October issue of First Things, while another poem, “Pike County, 1980s, Evening,” appears in the most recent Raintown Review, and his light-verse piece, “An Orwellian Aubade” is in the most recent issue of Light.

In addition, he was named a finalist for the Vassar Miller Book Prize this year, as well as for the Morton Marr Prize from the Southwest Review, and he received an Honorable Mention in the Frost Farm Poetry Prize.

Hearty congratulations, Ryan!

Ryan Wilson was born in Griffin, Georgia. He holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and Boston University. His work has appeared in numerous journals, such as 32 Poems, Able Muse, First ThingsThe Hopkins Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Measure, River Styx, The Sewanee Review, 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. 

Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite publish novel

wotecoverChristopher Robinson (Poetry 2006) and his friend, Gavin Kovite, have written a novel together called War of the Encyclopaedists! The book was published by Scribner on May 19 and has been receiving fantastic press all month, including a review in the New York Times, a profile in the Seattle Timesand an interview in the Wall Street Journal.

The novel, based loosely on the authors’ lives, follows two friends from Seattle whose paths diverge when one of them moves to Boston to attend grad school at BU while the other deploys to Baghdad through the National Guard. They keep in touch by editing an absurd Wikipedia article about themselves.

Be sure to catch them at their reading at Harvard Book Store on Friday, June 5th at 7 PM.

You can read more about the book at their website or facebook page.

Congratulations, Chris and Gavin!


Sara Rivera’s latest news


Good news abounds for Sara Rivera (poetry ’13)!  Sara has three poems out in Origins: Issue 2, and her poem “baltic sea” was published with an audio recording and is live at DIALOGIST.  She was also recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Winnowing,” published in 2013 by the Loft Anthology.

In addition, Sara is a talented visual artist, and she will be designing a poetry installation for the Paseo Taos fall arts festival!  You also may have admired her work if you saw our Faculty Reading and Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer posters this year, which she designed.

Congratulations, Sara!

SARA D. RIVERA is an interdisciplinary artist and writer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, now based in Boston. She holds a BFA in Art Studio and a BA in English from the University of New Mexico, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Boston University, and was awarded a 2013 Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry for travel in Ireland. Her artistic and literary practice includes visual art, music, performance, poetry, and Spanish/English translation. Her work has appeared in the Loft Anthology‘s “Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art,” Origins Literary, and elsewhere, and she works as a teaching and collaborating artist at the Urbano Project and GrubStreet.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura published in FRIGG and Mid-American Review


Luisa Caycedo-Kimura has recently published five poems in FRIGG magazine!  Read them here.  And please check out her charming interview with Mid-American Review, in which she talks about writing, regrets, and insects.  Luisa’s poem, “Un Jardin en Tolima,” was published in the most recent issue of MAR.

Congratulations, Luisa!

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura was the 2014 John K. Walsh Residency Fellow at the Anderson Center at Tower View, the 2014 Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellow at Ragdale, and a 2013 Robert Pinsky Global Fellow in Poetry. Born in Colombia and raised in New York City, Luisa left the legal profession to pursue her passion for writing. She has received numerous awards for her poetry and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Mid-American Review, Nashville Review, Jelly Bucket, Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, and elsewhere.

Tara Skurtu’s poem on the Red Line!



We’re thrilled to see Tara Skurtu’s (poetry ’13) poem on the MBTA Red Line! Thanks to Mass Poetry‘s Poetry on the T contest and the public’s vote, Tara’s poem will be featured on the T for the month of May.  It’s called “Anyone’s Son” and was written for the family of Trayvon Martin.

About seeing her poem on the train, Tara says, “It was unlike any experience I’ve ever had. I sat below it and watched people’s faces as they read it. I could see their eyes going across the lines, could see the poem being processed real-time. It was amazing to see. I felt like I was the page of a book, in a sense. “

Congratulations Tara!

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.