Skurtu, România by Tara Skurtu is the poet’s first published collection of poetry (chapbook). Skurtu is a Boston-based poet and translator currently living in Romania, where she is a 2015-17 Fulbright lecturer at Transilvania University of Brașov and is translating contemporary Romanian poetry. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship.
From the back cover: In Skurtu, România, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her families forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in the forgotten place through the dynamic of an alienating love story.
This small collection packs plenty of imagery. It is not so much in direct descriptions places but a feeling. Her poetry reflects the Romania that exists in my Cold War era brain — a mix of ancient culture surrounded by the remnants of dead Soviet architecture and somehow a little bit of light breaking through. I can easily imagine the man downstairs singing Blondie’s “Maria” in a heavy accent or the men gathered around the 200lb loaf of potato bread and of course the cabbages. While discovering Romania there is a relationship and gaining and losing traction.
A nice collection of discovery and adapting to a new culture. Skurtu journey continues on her Twitter account, @TaraSkurtu and her full collection of poetry, The Amoeba Game, will also be available soon from Eyewear publishing