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Acclaimed Poet Returns to GRCC for Reading, Discussion, Book Signing of “Stunningly Powerful Piece of Writing” - Prestigious Bakeless Prize Winner, Romanian Expatriate to Discuss Her Work

Grand Rapids Community College is welcoming Honors Graduate and acclaimed poet Carmen Bugan to campus for a free public event that includes readings from her award winning non-fiction book, Burying the Typewriter.

The event, sponsored by GRCC’s English department, is free and open to the public.  It will be held on September 20, 2012, and includes two different sessions with Ms. Bugan:

  • A discussion of her work and life from 2:45-4:00 p.m. at 108 Sneden Hall on the DeVos Campus
  • A reading and book signing at the GRCC Library (2nd Floor) from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the Main Campus

“We are delighted to have Carmen back in Grand Rapids and on the GRCC campus for this very special event,” said David Cope, GRCC English professor and Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, 2011-2014.  “Beyond being an acclaimed poet, she’s an incredible individual with a powerful story to share with our community.”

Barely free of her homeland, Bugan spent two years at GRCC and later graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan.  She achieved the highest honors ever given by the Poets' House/Lancaster University, Ireland, for her Master of Fine Arts, and earned her Ph.D. from Oxford University with high honors.  Her first book of poems, Crossing the Carpathians, was highly acclaimed.  Burying the Typewriter is her second book.  An academic study, Seamus Heaney and East European Poets in Translation, will be published in November.  Bugan has served as a book reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement (London), taught creative writing at Oxford, and has lectured and read at Harvard and many other universities.   She lives on the French-Swiss border next to Geneva with her Italian husband and their two children.

According to Cope, Burying the Typewriter is a story detailing the price of liberty, of growing up in Ceausescu's Romania, living through years of tyranny and suffering after her dissident father drove to the central square in Bucharest and confronted the regime for the horrors it perpetrated. “The story her family endured was both harrowing and heroic, and in this memoir, Burying the Typewriter, she finally has written it out for all to see,” said Cope. 

In the Sunday Times review of the book, reviewer Bee Wilson describes Burying the Typewriter as “a stunningly powerful piece of writing, a modern classic… the voice of the child in this astonishing memoir comes out loud and clear, infused with an uncrushable spirit.”   Patrick Barkham of the The Guardian describes it simply as “...a beautiful, vivid memoir.”

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.