Poetry. Women's Studies. "This selection of Carmen Bugan's poems offers readers an experience with all the surprise and continuity of a long, complex novel. Childhood, youth, the move from a traditional rural world, dominated by lovingly described grandparents, to exile, urban life, parents ageing, children growing—all the private normalities which are so often the material of poetry are here. But, from the striking opening, where the poet's parents work secretly on a typewriter, buried and dug up after the children are in bed, on Samizdat protests against the government of Romania, normality collides with history. A reality of state surveillance, abuse and incarceration fills the poems with urgency, even as memories are revisited and sometimes revised. Carmen Bugan has written over twenty-five years in fluent, graceful English verse (Romanian, Latin and French words sometimes dazzling with multiple meanings); what marks this book is awareness of a sinister other language. With the poet, we realize that this is the record of a life already recorded, in the distorting staccato of the surveillance transcript, a distortion that leaks into the language of the later poems. Yet faith in the capacity of words to deliver truth survives, reflecting and recalling the exhuming of the typewriter, even if memory is vitiated and language is profaned."—Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Carmen Bugan's books include the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (Picador), which has received international critical praise, the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Non-Fiction, and was a finalist in the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her collections of poems are LILIES FROM AMERICA: NEW & SELECTED POEMS, RELEASING THE PORCELAIN BIRDS, and House of Straw (all from Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet). She is also the author of a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. Her work has been translated into several languages and she is a regular reviewer for Harvard Review Online. Bugan was awarded a large grant from the Arts Council of England, was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, was a Hawthornden Fellow, the Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and is a George Orwell Prize Fellow. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford University.
Author City: STONY BROOK, NY USA