Second photo by Cornel Moșneag.
Tara Skurtu is a Boston-based poet and translator currently living in Romania, where she’s a Fulbright lecturer in creative writing at Transilvania University of Brașov. In the U.S., she’s a lecturer at Boston University, and she teaches English composition to incarcerated college students through BU’s Prison Education Program.
Tara believes poetry has a logic of memory and uses language to express something that cannot possibly be said in words. The creative process, she thinks, is much like traveling through language—we are, in a sense, landing in different countries, trying sentence after sentence to see how much sense we might make.
In 2013 Tara received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry and spent the fall in Romania, beginning to learn the language of her paternal great-grandparents. Last year she began translating contemporary Romanian poetry into English.
The recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, Tara’s recent poems appear or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Plume, Poetry Review, and Poetry Wales. Romanian translations appear in SUBCAPITOL, Zonă Noua, and two editions of Poets in Transylvania, among others. The Romanian translation of her debut book, The Amoeba Game—a collection of poems inspired by childhood and family, illness and healing, and the limitations of language and love—is forthcoming.