The Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer Series Presents: Lisa Taddeo

LT HEADSHOTBoston University’s Program in Creative Writing is thrilled to announce that Lisa Taddeo (Fiction ’17) will be the featured reader for this fall’s installation of The Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer Series, which will take place on November 17 at 7:00 PM. Lisa will be reading from her debut novel, Animal, and will then participate in a Q&A session after the reading.

Lisa’s nonfiction book Three Women was a New York Times bestseller and is being adapted for television by Showtime. In a review for The Atlantic, Sophie Gilbert called the book “an astonishing book of literary reportage.” Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert remarked: “I can’t remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women.” Reviewers of Animal have praised Lisa’s “empathy and intelligence and remarkable insight” (Jennifer Haigh for The New York Times) and called the book “abrasive and unsparing” (Sandra Newman for The Guardian).

This event is free and open to the public. Those who wish to attend can use this Zoom link.


Lisa Hiton’s Book Reviewed by Meg Fernandes

398943_10100779059290890_1574296033_nThe first review of Lisa Hiton (Poetry '11)'s debut collection Afterfeast, has arrived! The book was reviewed in Harriet Books, Poetry Foundation's portal for poetry-related news. The reviewer, Boston University alum Meg Fernandes (Poetry '12), said of the book: "Lisa Hiton’s Afterfeast explores Mediterranean superstition, the spiritual complexities of Judaism, and the undersung erotics of lesbian intimacy with a daunting omniscience, moving from past to present, from real city to mythical terrain, from lyric speaker to shifting persona." 

You can read the full review here.

Congratulations, Lisa!



Stories by Carolynn Mireault Published and Forthcoming

Mireault_author_photoCarolynn Mireault (Fiction '22) has been on a hot streak. This summer, Carolynn has published her stories in The South Shore Review ("Grief Bacon"), Across the Margin ("Blessing the Whammies"), FEED ("Joy of the World at Night" and "Here it Happens"), and Misery Tourism ("Unhappy Woman").

In addition to these stories, Carolynn also has pieces forthcoming in Louisiana LiteratureBULL, The Westchester Review, and Abandon Journal. You can learn more about Carolynn and her work on her website.

Congratulations, Carolynn!

Laura Marris to Publish Book with Graywolf

Marris_Photo_Credit Matt KenyonBoston University Creative Writing alum and former Favorite Poem Project Director Laura Marris's (poetry '13) book The Age of Loneliness has been picked up by Graywolf.

The book is a series of essays that explore loneliness through both personal and ecological lenses. The book pays great attention to where these perspectives overlap, illuminating the losses experienced by humans and the coping that must be done to live with the absences left behind.

Congratulations, Laura!

Laura Marris is a writer and translator. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The Yale ReviewThe Point and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by a MacDowell Fellowship and a Daniel Varoujan Award. Recent translations include Albert Camus’s The Plague, which comes out from Knopf in November. With Alice Kaplan, she is also the co-author of States of Plague: Reading Albert Camus in a Pandemic (University of Chicago Press, 2022). Her first solo-authored book, The Age of Loneliness, will be published by Graywolf in 2024.

Photo Credit: Matt Kenyon

Ying-Ju Lai Named Writer-in-Residence by Associates of the Boston Public Library


Boston University Creative Writing alum Ying-Ju Lai (Fiction '13) has received one of two Writer-in-Residence fellowships awarded by the Associates of the Boston Public Library in 2021. She, as well as fellow winner Katy Doughty, will receive a stipend, editorial assistance, and office space in the Boston Public Library.

Going to Disneyland, Ying-Ju's proposed young adult novel, focuses on the experiences of a sixteen-year-old girl named Jiajia, a "parachute kid" with parents being pursued by the Chinese government after being accused of fraud and bribery. After her father abruptly arrives in the United States, Jiajia embarks on a cross-country adventure that forces her to confront the consequences of her parents' behavior as well as her own privilege. Sian Gaetano, the Children's and YA Editor at Shelf Awareness said of the project: "The ripped-from-the-headlines quality of Going to Disneyland mixed with the captivating writing and realistic character development make for an utterly entertaining YA novel."

A virtual celebration and reading will be hosted by the Associates of the Boston Public Library on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 6:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Those who wish to learn more or register to attend can use this link.

Congratulations, Ying-Ju!

Boston Writers Involved in New Writers’ Coalition

Boston University Creative Writing alumni Tara Skurtu (Poetry '13), Rachel Dewoskin (Poetry '00), and edb78a3f-591b-46b6-915e-04d87513029aAGNI founder Askold Melnyczuk (MA '78) are involved in a new, international coalition of writers dedicated to protecting democratic values. As members of the steering committee of Writers for Democratic Action, they (and other members such as Peter Balakian, Carolyn Forché, Jericho Brown, and Natasha Tretheway) have committed themselves to the organization's mission of "bringing together the literary community to demand racial and economic justice, champion suffrage for all people, oppose impediments to democratic government, and resist white supremacist, nationalist, and fascist movements," and promise to "stand vigilant in the service of the republic to promote the common good."

On September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of al Qaeda's assaults on the United States, Writers for Democratic Action will present a panel of distinguished writers to discuss what the United States' response to 9/11 has meant both for the country and for the rest of the world. Panelists will engage with questions of the effects that linger in the present moment globally, and how we might learn from the history of 9/11 and inform our actions in defense of democracy.

Novelist Paul Auster, essayist and poet Caroline Randall Williams, historian Heather Cox Richardson, and Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury will discuss these questions as part of a panel moderated by author and former NPR host and correspondent Jacki Lyden. The event will be hosted by Todd Gitlin, a writer, sociologist, and founding member of Writers for Democratic Action. Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books have agreed to virtually host the event.

Those interested in attending the event can register for the free event here. Those seeking more information about Writers for Democratic Action can visit their website or email

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura to publish book with Beacon Press


We're excited to announce that Aaron Caycedo-Kimura's (Poetry '20) book, Common Grace: Poems, is forthcoming from Beacon Press! Aaron says the book grew out of his thesis, which he continued working on after graduating in fall 2020.

Common Grace is a poetry collection in three parts. It explores Aaron's life and art, the death of his parents, and his close relationship with his wife, Luisa Caycedo-Kimura (Poetry '13). The book is part of the new poetry series Raised Voices and will be published in fall 2022.

Congratulations, Aaron!

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura is a poet and visual artist. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Poet Lore, DMQ Review, Tule Review, THINK Journal, Louisiana Literature, Naugatuck River Review, and elsewhere. Aaron is also the author and illustrator of Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life (TarcherPerigee).

Danny Hardisty’s collection shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize

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A bit belatedly, we are pleased excited to announce that Danny Hardisty's (Poetry 2018) book Rose with Harm has been shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize! The collection was published by Salt Publishing last October, and is described by Gail Mazur as "really beautiful and mature."

Danny says,

How a book comes together is a bit of a mystery to me. Rose with Harm has been out since last September and was  recently nominated for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection prize. When I look at it now it seems coherent and planned. But the reality is the book didn’t really exist until the MFA year at Boston and the travel scholarship which came afterwards. There was an urgency to putting the book together that came from the momentum of the MFA and the context of my life at that time. The poems from the MFA had been checked and triple checked, workshopped and scrutinized and it was my confidence in those poems that allowed me to construct the heart of the book. Plenty of people had encouraged me over the years, and had helped out in some way in the book's production. But it was Gail, Robert and Karl, and my colleagues, in the workshop who made me lay my cards on the table.

Congratulations, Danny!

Daniel Hardisty is a US/UK citizen. He holds a BA from the University of East Anglia and an MFA from Boston University. His poems have appeared in Poetry London, The London Magazine, Poetry Ireland Review, The Spectator and on BBC Radio 4. He has been awarded an Academy of American Poets prize, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, a Faber New Poets prize, an Arts Council Writers award and a New Writing North Award. He was co-editor of the anthology if you’re not happy now and is currently co-editor of the magazine Volume. His poetry collection Rose with Harm was published in 2020 and is shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize.

Celebrate Pride Month with the Queer Poem-a-Day Podcast Series, featuring BU poets!


Happy Pride Month! We’re so excited to share Queer Poem-a-Day, a daily series from the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, featuring poems written and read by contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets. With Dylan Zavagno, Queer Poem-a-Day is co-directed by the BU MFA Program’s very own Lisa Hiton (Poetry ’11)! You can listen in, and read the poems and bios of the poets here. A new poem will be released each day this month.

Lisa told us that the following BU alums and friends of the MFA program will be featured in June: Jill McDonough, Richie Hofmann, Rachel Mennies, Carl Phillips, and Dan Kraines. She says,
I hope Queer Poem-a-Day serves the patrons of the library, Deerfield, and the larger world of contemporary poetry by showing--even just for a mere month--the power of LGBTQIA+ expression in this mode--the lyric mode,” says Lisa Hiton. “How these voices can engender us all to listen to each other, to look within ourselves, and to find radiance in experiences both grand and intimate.

To learn more about the upcoming Queer Poem-a-Day series and to subscribe , visit The Library is hosting The Lyric Self: Discovering Queer Traditions in Poetry on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. You can learn more about that and other events at

Thank you, Lisa, for the wonderful work you're doing!

Lisa Hiton is a poet and educator from Deerfield, IL. Her first book of poems, Afterfeast, was selected by Mary Jo Bang to win the Dorset Prize at Tupelo Press (forthcoming 2021). She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and and M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. To learn more, visit

Grant Quackenbush’s poetry debut forthcoming in October

Grant Quakenbush, portrait 1We're excited to announce that Grant Quackenbush's poetry book Off Topic is forthcoming from Pinyon Publishing this October!  Below is the cover of the book, an oil portrait of the author by Bradford J. Salamon.

Off Topic grew out of Grant's BU thesis, which he continued to write  and revise during the spring and summer of 2020.  He says: I got really lucky because I only sent it out to about a half a dozen places before it was accepted in November. Since then I've continued to edit it in very small but important ways and now it is completely done. 

Congratulations, Grant!  We're looking forward to reading your book.

Grant Quackenbush received his MFA from Boston University in 2019.  He recently published poems in Cultural Weekly, Rattleand Tammy.  His full-length debut poetry collection, Off Topic, will be published by Pinyon Publishing in October 2021.