Craig Czury is from the Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania. A 2020-22 Fulbright Scholar to Chile, Craig spent fifteen of his early years hitchhiking North America, working odd jobs and studying poetry from European and Latin American poets translated to English. “Growing up in immigrant labor communities, English wasn’t my first language, broken English was, in all of its visceral tones and undertones, like poetry.”
For over three decades, Craig has conducted poetry, life-writing, writing as healing, and Poem Fusion (multi-voice poetry performance) workshops in schools, prisons, homeless shelters, universities, mental hospitals, community centers, and poetry festivals all over the world. In 1993, he was awarded the Key to the City of Scranton for his intergenerational Scranton Poem Opera, written and performed with students, parents, and elders.
In 2008, Craig earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree from Wilkes University. He served as Poet Laureate of Berks County, from 2010-2012, while living in Reading, where he had also received an National Endowment for the Arts grant to conduct collaborative, community Poem Fusion performances and public poetry murals. Working with AmeriCorps*WritersCorps in Washington, DC, 1995-96, he conducted poetry workshops with inmates at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, fifty years after Ezra Pound was a “patient” there. Through the Americans for the Arts Artist Exchange Fellowship and the Derry Playhouse in 1999, Craig united Catholic and Protestant communities with his historic poetry writing workshops with students in Northern Ireland, performed for BBC Radio FOYLE.
Craig was awarded Laureate of the 2011 Ditët e Naimit International Albanian Poetry Festival in 1999, and the following year he received the prestiges F. Lammot Belin Scholarship for Artists, allowing him to finish his book of docu-poems, THUMB NOTES ALMANAC: Hitchhiking the Marcellus Shale, from his observations and interviews while hitchhiking rural roads in his home N.E Pennsylvania “fracking” region during the height of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.
In 2018, Craig toured the Balkans, giving poetry readings in Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo through P.E.N. Albania, of which he was awarded Honorary Membership. In 2019, Craig was honored with the Alexander the Great Gold Medal for Letters & Arts through UNESCO/ Piraeus on Salimina Island in Greece; and the Dafne Lifetime Achievement Award in Aulla, Italy.
Craig is the author of over 20 books, many of which have been translated into Albanian, Russian Croatian, Lithuanian, Spanish, and Italian. He now lives in Dunmore, PA, and Northern Italy where he teaches poetry writing at the Istituto Galileo Galilei science high school in Crema, Lombardia. His most recent books, THUMB NOTES ALMANAC, FIFTEEN STONES, prose poems, and POSTCARDS & ANCIENT TEXTS, travel poems over 40 years, will be available at craigczury.com.