Carmen Bugan

Creative Nonfiction Writer, Poet


Author's Bio

Dr. Carmen Bugan was born in 1970 in Romania and has since lived in the US, Ireland, England, and France. She is the author of three collections of poems: Crossing the Carpathians (Oxford Poets/Carcanet), The House of Straw (Shearsman), and Releasing the Porcelain Birds (Shearsman), as well as the memoir Burying the Typewriter (Picador/Macmillan), which has been translated into several languages, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, was a Waterstones Book Club Choice, and has brought her international praise. The Sunday Times called the memoir "a modern classic" and the TLS said it is "an exemplary memoir". The BBC has based their documentary The Man Who Went Looking for Freedom on her memoir. Bugan has also written the critical study Séamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile, about which Modern Poetry in Translation said it is "a valuable resource that will be challenging to surpass". Her bilingual edition of poetry and selected prose was published with Edizioni Kolibris in Italy, and is entitled On the Side of Forgetting/ Sulla Soglia Della Dimenticanza. Bugan was educated at the University of Michigan and Oxford University, UK, where she obtained a doctorate in English literature. Her essays, reviews, and poems appear in publications such as PEN, the TLS, Modern Poetry in Translation, PN Review, Harvard Review, and the BBC Magazine. She has taught at Oxford University (UK), University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University. In 2017 Bugan was made a George Orwell Prize Fellow. She has appeared at literary festivals and book fairs such at the London Book Fair in England, Goteborg Book Fair in Sweden, Cork Literary Festival in Ireland, Le Livre Sur Les Quais in Morges, Switzerland, and has read her work in Paris, Athens, Oxford, Bucharest, Boston, New York, London, and Chicago, among many other places. She currently teaches at the Gotham Writers Workshop in NYC and lives in Long Island, NY. Bugan is the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Burying the Typewriter (Picador, 2012)


Releasing the Porcelain Birds (Shearsman Books, 2016)
The House of Straw (Shearsman Books, 2015)
Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet Press, 2004)
Prizes won: 

Bread Loaf Nonfiction Prize,  

George Orwell Prize for Political Writing--Shortlist,  

Dayton Literary Peace Prize--Shortlist, 

Arts Council of England Individual Artist Grant,  

Gertrude Hartley Prize in Poetry at Balliol College, Oxford University


More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
European American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, Romanian
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Last update: Jul 31, 2018