The Creative Writing Department’s Summer Class Offerings Are Here!

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It’s that time of year again — summer course listings have gone live! We have plenty of fantastic courses to offer — including a completely new, interdisciplinary class — and this summer is the perfect time to join us in the study and practice of Creative Writing! All Boston University Summer Term courses will be held on-campus and are open to more than just BU students — in addition to those already enrolled at BU, visiting domestic and international students, high school students, as well as adults and professionals, are welcome to register!

The department is running four sections of CAS EN 202 (“Introduction to Creative Writing”) this summer, and each of our wonderful instructors will bring a different twist to the class! In the first summer session, section A2 will be taught by program administrator and poet Annaka Saari, who often infuses her syllabi with multimedia content; in particular, she is fascinated with the overlap between film and poetry). Section A1 will be taught by current fiction student, graphic novelist, and comic artist Jess Ruliffson. In the second summer session, section B1 will be taught by current fiction student and journalist Melkon Charchoglyan, while section B2 will be taught by current poetry student and Favorite Poem Project content creator Nate Miller. All sections of this course will center around the writing workshop and will allow students to create original work while receiving feedback from their peers and instructor.

Taught by award-winning poet and editor Lisa Hiton, CAS EN 304 (“The Writing of Poetry”) will allow students to dedicate themselves to studying the craft of poetry. Students will learn to read poems closely, with their attention focused on the craft elements of the work, and will be encouraged to apply what they learn to their own work. Students will receive feedback on their original poetry from their instructor and peers in the workshop environment.

CAS EN 305 (“The Writing of Fiction”) is designed for students who wish to immerse themselves in the study of fiction. Taught by fiction writer Nayereh Doosti, this is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn from great works of fiction what they might apply to their own work. Students will learn to read like writers (that is, with an eye towards how stories are made) and will receive feedback on their own creative work from their instructor and peers in the workshop environment.

Our new course, CAS EN 549 (“Interdisciplinary Studies in Creative Writing: The Writer as Historian”) promises to indulge the curiosities of those interested in History, Creative Writing, or the overlaps and differences that exist between these fields. In this workshop-based course, students should expect to engage with both creative and historical readings, and some historical and historiographical lectures may be given. In engaging with this variety of instructional material, students will be asked to consider the ethical implications of infusing creative works with details taken from the pages of history. Unlike our other course offerings, this class does require an application; see the poster above, or contact program administrator Annaka Saari at, for details about the application process.

Among all of these classes, there should be something for everyone! Email program administrator Annaka Saari at with any questions you may have and feel free to read more about our course offerings on the Summer Term website.

Classmates Receive Grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation

Yu-Mei Balasingamchow and Pritha Bhattacharyya were classmates in Boston University's MFA Fiction class of 2019. In January, both of them were awarded creative writing grants by the Elizabeth George Foundation. The Creative Department was thrilled to hear of this news, and department administrator Annaka Saari conducted a short email interview with Yu-Mei and Pritha after learning of both of their awards. Their answers to her questions can be found below.

How did you feel when you heard you had received the grant?

Pritha: Shocked and grateful. I really went into the application process with a good dose of skepticism about being able to get the grant, as I try to do with any sort of application. To see it come to fruition at the end was a sign that, for now, I’m on the right path. I can’t emphasize enough how transformative this grant is for my writing life this upcoming year, nor how much I owe my recommenders for advocating on my behalf.

Yu-Mei: Stunned, ecstatic, grateful – I still am! I gave the application my best shot, of course, but so many good and worthy writers apply for these grants, you never know what your chances are going to be like. Plus I'd received a number of other rejections in the months before, and I was prepared for another one (you know how the writing life is).

Getting the grant is certainly a huge boost of encouragement to keep pushing on with my novel. I'm super thankful to everyone who helped me along the way: the writer friends who went over my application with an eagle eye, and my professors at BU and other recommenders who endorsed my work. On a practical note, as someone who juggles various part-time and freelance gigs to pay the bills, a gift like this is a real windfall – much as the fully-funded MFA at BU was.

How did you feel when you heard your classmate had received the grant?

P: I was incredibly happy to know that Yu-Mei had been awarded the grant too, and both of us getting it this year was the cherry on top! Although it’s been a while since we were in the same classroom, I remember our cohort as a whole was super kind and supportive of one another, and Yu-Mei and I have stayed in touch ever since graduating, updating each other on our progress of our respective works. I’m so excited to see where this grant helps her take her work and will be cheering wildly for her as it happens.

Y: I was absolutely thrilled for Pritha! She's an amazing writer, a steadfast friend, and a lovely human being. We did a fair bit of screaming on the phone (in a good way) when we found out. I can't wait for more people to read her stories! Also, since our BU days I've been bugging her to write a novel (she knows which one).

How do you think your time in Boston University's program prepared you as writers for opportunities like this?

P: My year at BU was invaluable. To put it bluntly: that’s where I learned to write. I am incredibly grateful to my teachers and cohort for their support, encouragement, and critique during that time because it made me a stronger and more assured writer. My MFA year also gave me the confidence to pursue writing seriously and to consider myself competitive for opportunities such as the Elizabeth George Foundation grant.

Y: The program made me a sharper reader and writer, and I know some of the advice and ideas our professors mentioned in class have taken up permanent, subconscious residence in my writing brain. I'm also glad I got to know Pritha, our classmates and other alumni that I've met since. Writing, submitting and applying for things can feel like a solitary endeavor. Having friends to talk with, especially when nothing seems to be "happening" in one's writing life, keeps me going and helps me psych myself up for the next possibility.

Weike Wang to be Next Speaker in Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer Series

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The Boston University Creative Writing department is so excited to welcome Weike Wang (Fiction '15) as the next speaker in The Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer Series.

Weike will join us via Zoom at 7:00PM on Thursday, 03 March. She will read from her new novel Joan is Okay, which was released by Random House in January, and participate in a Q&A Session with the audience. This event is free and open to the public, and those who are interested in attending can register at this link.

Weike's work has recently been published in Ploughshares and she was awarded the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award for her first novel, Chemistry (Knopf, 2017). This event will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Weike and her craft; be sure to join us!

John Rosengren’s Tenth Book to Come Out in March


John Rosengren (MA ’94)’s tenth book Classic Baseball: Timeless Tales, Immortal Moments will be released by Rowman & Littlefield in March. The book is a collection of articles written by Rosengren -- some of which originally appeared in Sports IllustratedThe New YorkerVICE Sports, and other outlets -- that explores stories surrounding legends such as Ty Cobb and Sandy Koufax, as well as tales told by and about lesser-known figures. From reflecting on famous moments to shining light on the details of more mundane happenings, these stories celebrate America's favorite pastime with humor and reverence.

Congratulations, John!

You can read more about the book (and preorder a copy!) at this link.

Eleanor Goodman Receives NEA Fellowship

Eleanor Goodman (Poetry '03) has been named a 2022 Translation Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts! The fellowship has been awarded in support of her translation of Chinese writer Zang Di's poetry collection Elegies for My Son. Di has dedicated himself to writing one poem a day for decades, and the poems in Elegies for My Son were written in the aftermath of his seven-year-old son's accidental drowning.

Of the opportunities presented by this fellowship, Eleanor has said that "translation itself is a kind of fellowship: a meeting of minds and artistic sensibilities and cultural baggage. It is a deep kind of empathy, a practice of temporarily inhabiting another language, another sensory perspective, even another life. To be able to engage in all this within the larger fellowship of the NEA is an incredible honor, and I’m deeply grateful for these gifts of time and of community."

Congratulations, Eleanor!

You can read more about Eleanor and her project on the NEA's website.

Daniel Hardisty’s Collection Wins East Anglian Book Award

thumbnail_Hardisty-Rose-with-Harm-cover-RGBDaniel Hardisty (Poetry '18)'s collection Rose with Harm has been named the winner of the poetry category in the East Anglian Book Awards!

The book was published by Salt in late 2020, and was also shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize 2021. Gail Mazur has called the book "A really beautiful and mature collection." You can read Daniel's thoughts about the collection here.

Congratulations, Daniel!

Neshat Khan Earns Pushcart Mention

20211104_120727BU alum Neshat Khan (Fiction '17) has a lot of good news to share! Her story, "Gifted," which was named finalist in Mississippi Review's Fiction Contest (and was published in last year's summer issue), received a Special Mention in the most recent Pushcart Anthology.

Additionally, Neshat's story "Moonspotting" was recently named a finalist for New Letters' Robert Day Fiction Award, as well as the Pleiades Kinder/Crump Fiction Award. Neshat was also named a semi-finalist for the Kenyon Review Fellowship earlier in the year.

Congratulations, Neshat!

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!