Tara Skurtu

Tara Skurtu (Poetry) | Brașov, Romania

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Tara Skurtu, born in Key West, Florida, is a Boston-based poet and translator currently living in Romania, where she is a 2015-2017 Fulbright lecturer at Transilvania University of Brașov. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University and a double degree in English and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Tara is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. Before her Fulbright, she taught at Boston University; she was a lecturer in the Creative Writing department, taught composition to incarcerated students through BU’s Prison Education Program, and she was on the planning and teaching team for Robert Pinsky’s 2014 MOOC, “The Art of Poetry.” Her poems are published and translated internationally, and recent work appears in The Kenyon Review, Plume, Poetry Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and Poetry Wales. She is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania (Eyewear Publishing, 2016) and the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game (Eyewear, fall 2017).


The Amoeba Game (Eyewear Publishing, 2017). Poetry.


Blurbs, Press & Reviews

Tara Skurtu’s poems don’t rely on the usual “poetic” subject matter. Instead, as in these remarkable poems set in Romania, the country of her ancestors, she can take an unlikely or even grim situation and, in a sensitively detailed, amused, and finally deeply sympathetic narrative, convey an emotionally complex experience and invite us to live it along with her. She once wrote that “if a poem does nothing more than make you feel something which can’t be explained, it’s done its job.” These mysterious, mesmerizing, and compelling poems have done much more than their job.
—Lloyd Schwartz

Tara Skurtu’s poetry is a little thunder in a small room, in a strange and foreign world, where all things are something different than they appear to be. In the middle of this universe love resides, alone, on its own. Words circle it, seeking to enter and conquer. Reality is inhabited by objects, people, and places as familiar as they are strange. The poet writes, with almost cynical carefulness, the implacable diagnostic of a love story. The distance between the characters, the present-absent lover, and the poet-persona who sees, understands, and cannot accept the convention, gives birth to poems of remarkable finesse and eloquence. In each poem, the touch of authentic and visceral emotions, censored by reason, dazzle the reader. Or it thrills the reader. Which is one and the same.
—Florin Iaru

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