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.

Nina Palisano finalist for Raynes Prize

habitat (1)Great news from Nina Palisano (poetry ’15) whose poetry has recently been published in a slew of places!

“On Horror” appears in the Washington Square Review“Dear Girl” in the Bellevue Literary Review, and “Letter After An Illness” in Winter Tangerine Review – all in the spring issues of these journals.

In addition, Nina’s poem “Daniel Dreams” has been named a finalist for the Jewish Currents’ Raynes Poetry Prize, and will be featured in an anthology from the Jewish Currents publishing imprint later this year.

Congratulations, Nina!

Antonina Palisano holds a degree in religion and creative writing from Hampshire College, and is most of the way through an MFA in poetry at Boston University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the publications listed, as well as the Massachusetts Review, Potluck Magazine, Electric Cereal, and many others. She is an Elizabeth Leonard Teaching Fellow at BU, and lives in Medford, MA.

Tara Skurtu receives Fulbright, publishes new work

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Exciting news from Tara Skurtu (poetry ’13), who has been awarded a Fulbright to Romania for the 2015-2016 academic year!  Tara will be reading her work at the International Poetry Festival in Sibiu, Romania this September with Robert Pinsky and Lloyd Schwartz (her former teachers!).  She’ll spend the rest of her time teaching ESL at the University of Transylvania in Brasov and giving poetry and translation workshops to young Romanian writers.

In addition, Tara’s poem, “Derivatives,” has been published in the Tahoma Literary Review and can be read here.  This poem is about her experience in Romania during her Global Fellowship.

Congratulations, Tara!  We’re so proud of you, and we wish you all the best during your Fulbright!

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.

Sasenarine Persaud’s latest publications

Jun 2014We’re pleased to announce that Sasenarine Persaud’s (fiction ’06) essay, “Letter from Boston,” has been published in Wasafiri (London)!  Sase has also had five poems published in the online spring issue of Dasun (Malaysia).  In addition, the spring issue of Bostonia reviews the work of several BU MFA alums, including Sase’s latest book of poetry, Love in the Time of Technology, as well as Ha Jin’s A Map of Betrayal, which was published last fall, and Rachel DeWoskin’s Blind.

Congratulations, Sase!

Sasenarine Persaud is the author of twelve books of fiction and poetry. His awards include: The KM Hunter Foundation Award (Toronto) and fellowships from the University of Miami and Boston University. Persaud initiated the term Yogic Realism to define his literary aesthetics. His most recent books are Love in a Time of Technology (TSAR Books, Toronto, 2014), Lantana Strangling Ixora (TSAR Books, Toronto, 2011), Unclosed Entrances: Selected Poems (Caribbean Press, Warwick & Georgetown, 2011) and In a Boston Night (TSAR, Toronto, 2008).

He has been described as “one of those rare poets who gets the recipe of humanness exactly right” (Canadian Literature); and his poetry as “miniature rags, sensuous units of Indian music obeying conventions mysterious to western ears” (The Globe and Mail). Persaud was born in Guyana and has lived in Canada for several years. He tarries in Florida.