Wednesday 18 November 17:30 - 19:30

Institute of Advanced Studies Forum (UCL)
South Wing, Wilkins Building, University College London
Gower Street

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Crossing Languages: A Lecture by Carmen Bugan


This lecture probes the poet's relationship with an adopted language, acknowledging losses and gains.

This lecture probes the poet's relationship with an adopted language, acknowledging losses and gains, and offers a glimpse into the experience of writing in-between languages, hovering at the borders between them. As one re-settles in a new language, the native and the adopted languages play more complex and subtle parts in the perception of self and of freedom, as the poet no longer defines one language in terms of another, one experience in terms of another, but seeks a language that brings feelings and experiences from both in a continuously evolving lyric.

Carmen Bugan, a George Orwell Prize Fellow, is the author of four poetry collections (Crossing the Carpathians, The House of Straw, Releasing the Porcelain Birds, Sulla Soglia Della Dimenticanza/On the Side of Forgetting), and most recently Lilies from America, which won a Poetry Society Special Commendation. Her memoir, Burying the Typewriter, called by the Sunday Times ‘a modern classic,’ won the Bread Loaf Nonfiction Prize and was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Her poems have been anthologized in the Penguin’s Poems for Life and Joining Music with Reason among others, and her work has been translated into several languages. She wrote a monograph on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile and reviews regularly for Harvard Review Online. Bugan was the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan and teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in Manhattan. She appears on current affairs programs and documentaries on the BBC, NPR, and ABC, and some of her talks are available on podcasts. She has a DPhil in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford University.


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