Tara Skurtu is an American poet and writer, writing coach, and public speaker. She speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about “Offering,” her poem from Issue 19 of The Common magazine. “Offering,” and many more of Skurtu’s poems, are set in Bucharest, Romania, where the poet has lived for several years. Skurtu discusses the inspiration and process behind the poem, her thoughts on teaching creative writing, and her time studying with poet Louise Glück. This conversation also includes the story behind the International Poetry Circle, an online poetry-reading initiative Skurtu started on Twitter in the early days of the pandemic.
Tara Skurtu is a two-time U.S. Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University, where she studied with Nobel Laureate Louise Glück and three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Her poems are published internationally and translated into ten languages. She is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania and the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game. Before moving to Romania, she was a lecturer in creative writing at Boston University and taught composition to incarcerated students through BU’s Prison Education Program. She is currently based in Bucharest, where she coaches writing clients around the world and is working on her forthcoming poetry collection Faith Farm.
Read “Offering” by Tara Skurtu at thecommononline.org/offering.
Find out more about Tara Skurtu at taraskurtu.com, or visit her writing coach page at taraskurtu.com/oneonone.
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The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at thecommononline.org, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.
Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She holds an MA in literature from Queen Mary University of London, and a BA from Smith College. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.