Carmen Bugan

Picture of Author Carmen Bugan
Photo by Alessandro Tricoli.

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About the author

Carmen Bugan was born in Romania in 1970 and emigrated to the US with her family in 1989, following her father's imprisonment for protesting against the Ceausescu regime. She was educated at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Lancaster University, The Poets House (Ireland), and at Balliol College, Oxford, where she obtained a doctorate in English Literature. Hear an interview with her here on US Public Radio.

In addition to her collection of poems The House of Straw, she has written Crossing the Carpathians: Poems (Oxford Poets/ Carcanet: 2004), a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile, and Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police, a memoir: the American edition of this book has won the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction and the English edition was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and shortlisted for the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing. The memoir is being translated into Swedish. Her poems have been translated with a critical introduction into Italian and have been published in Punto – Almanacco Della Poesia Italiana 2012. Her work is also published in Harvard Review, PN Review, Penguin's Poems for Life, Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American, the Tabla Book of New Verse, the Forward Book of Poetry, Magma, the TLS, and Modern Poetry in Translation.

A recipient of a large grant from the Arts Council of England, Bugan was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford and a Fellow at the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. She is currently researching the secret files that the Romanian Secret Police had kept on her and her family and is writing a book about having lived on both sides of the Iron Curtain. She lives in France with her husband and children.

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