Dr. Carmen Bugan, a George Orwell Prize Fellow, is a prize-winning writer based in Long Island, NY. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Stony Brook University, where she teaches literature.  She was born in Romania and has lived in England, Ireland, and France.  Educated at the University of Michigan and Balliol College, Oxford University, UK, with a PhD in English Literature, she is the author of five collections of poems (one a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation), an internationally acclaimed memoir, and a highly praised critical study. Her work has been translated into several languages and appears in publications such as PEN Atlas, Modern Poetry in Translation, the TLS, Harvard Review, PN Review, and others. Her book of essays, Poetry and the Language of Oppression (Oxford University Press) was named an “essential book for writers” by Poets and Writers.

She was a Fellow at the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers (Scotland), a Creative Arts Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University (UK), has received a major individual grant from the Arts Council England, and has taught creative writing and literature in the US, UK, and Switzerland.

Bugan appears at book fairs and festivals such as the London Book Fair, the Cork Literary Festival, The Goteborg Book Fair, and Le Livre sur les Quais (Morges, Switzerland) and lectures widely at universities in Europe and the United States. She is a member of the Geneva Writers Group and of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. In 2014 she has presented a long form documentary for the BBC World News and the World Service called ‘The Man Who Went Looking for Freedom’ on the story of her family, which is the subject of much of her writing.

She teaches memoir, creative writing, and provides book doctoring and private tutorials at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City.  Carmen Bugan was the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she lectured on Poetry and the Language of Oppression; she was also the 2018 Dow Visiting Scholar at Saginaw Valley State University, where she gave a keynote lecture on poetry in a time of politics. She chairs a monthly poetry reading series called Literary Excursions, at the Setauket Neighborhood House in East Setauket, NY, a platform  she has founded in 2016 to support the local poets.

Please see Carmen’s profiles from the POETRY FOUNDATION and POETS AND WRITERS

Listen /Watch Carmen (and others) talk about her work

Trinity College Dublin, June 2023: Poetry, Translation, Resistance




Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, England, poetry reading with Gregory Pardlo and Joshua Weiner, November 2019

Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, England, Poetry of Witness: Dictatorship, Ecology, Terrorism. Will Harris talks to Carmen Bugan, Sean Hewitt & Richard Osmond about alternative ways of writing on difficult subjects, November 2019

Nassau Community College, Long Island, NY, April 20, 2020 via ZOOM

Living Writers, WCBN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Cold War Conversations Podcast, on Burying the Typewriter

On MONOCLE radio–THE FOREIGN DESK talking about life behind the Iron Curtain

ON ABC talking about the Cold War in a series of programs on Why the Cold War Still Matters

World of ideas–Reading with AE Stallings at Boston University, October 2019

University of Michigan Residential College Podcast: Carmen Bugan and the Language of Freedom


This is a short selection of  poems, articles and interviews around the web.  Other links to media interviews, reviews, and work, appear under the specific books which generated interest:

Why literature must be part of the language of recovery from crisis

Lyricism as activism: Sigurd Olson and The Singing Wilderness

Wedding Ring–The Irish Times–Poem

Time Being–Ann Arbor Public Library Interview

A Promise–Poem

She Looks in the Mirror–Poem

The Arrow of Time–Poem

For the Time Being–Poem

“On the 2021 Presidential Inauguration”–The Irish Times–Poem

Lumina Mea–in MONK Magazine, UK

Dreaming of Holy Basilin MONK Magazine, UK

The Poems “Letter from New York” and “For the Time Being” in Literary Matters

The poems “Love” and “And now, the words” in Literary Matters (Association on Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers)

Lilies from America review and interview with Martha Stuit

My work as a BOOK Reviewer for Harvard Review Online

Irish Times Poem of the Week, Moon

Irish Times Poem of the Week Feature, Rings

Irish Times, Poem of the Week Feature, Preparing for the Journey of Return

English PEN essay on Wole Soyinka

English PEN essay on My Archival Identity

Oxford University Life Writing Series podcast on writing about oppression

American Library in Paris, essay, About a Story

Geneva Writers’ Group blog, The House of Shells

Geneva Writers Group blog, Being an Immigrant Writer

Poems in PN Review (UK)

A longer selection of my poems, and an interview in PN Review

Interview in New Statesman, with Jonathan Derbyshire

BBC Magazine long form feature essay, How My Childhood Was Tracked by the Secret Police

Balliol College Oxford, Annual Record piece

Poets and Writers short excerpt from my memoir Burying the Typewriter