blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Liliana Ursu, internationally acclaimed Romanian poet, was born in Sibiu, Romania. Ursu has published eight books of poetry in Romanian. Her first book in English, The Sky Behind the Forest (Bloodaxe Books, 1997), translated by Ursu, Adam J. Sorkin, and Tess Gallagher, became a British Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation and was shortlisted for Oxford's Weidenfeld Prize. Ursu's poetry has also been translated by her with Bruce Weigl and by Sean Cotter. Her most recent volume is Lift Up Your Hearts (Bucharest, Eminescu Publishing House, 2002). Sorkin and Gallagher, in collaboration with Ursu, are readying a second book of her poems in English, to be entitled A Path to the Sea. During 1992-93 and again in 1997-98, Ursu was a Fulbright Lecturer at Penn State's University Park campus; in spring 2000 she served as a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Louisville. In fall 2003, she was Poet-in-Residence at the Stadler Center for Poetry, Bucknell University. Ursu has worked for Romanian National Radio since 1980, producing a literary magazine of the air.  

Photo by Adam Sorkin



Tess Gallagher's new collection of poems, Dear Ghosts, has recently been accepted for publication by Graywolf Press to appear Spring 2006. Her essays and interviews amounting to a literary portrait of her relationship with Raymond Carver appeared as Soul Barnacles, Ten More Years With Ray, from University of Michigan Press in paperback in 2003. She visited Pula, Croatia, where she welcomed the Croatian translation of this book in December 2004 at the Pula Book Festival for which she was the lead-off speaker. She continues to work on a book of Irish oral stories with painter/storyteller Josie Gray of Sligo, Ireland, some of which appeared in DoubleTake along with an interview of Gallagher. Other tales from the collection appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, The Artful Dodge and The Bellingham Review, some with artwork by Gray. In May 2004, Gallagher was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Hartford, the Alumna of the Year Award from the University of Washington and the John Terrey Award for Excellence in the Humanities. She is the sole caretaker of her 90-year-old mother in her home in Pt. Angeles, Washington.  

Photo by Brian Farrell



Adam J. Sorkin's recent books of translation include three 2004 publications: The Bridge by Marin Sorescu, poems written over the last weeks of the poet's life (Bloodaxe Books); The Past Perfect of Flight: Selected Poems, also by Marin Sorescu (Bucharest, Romanian Cultural Institute Publishing House); and Lunacies by Ruxandra Cesereanu (New York, Spuyten Duyvil / Meeting Eyes Bindery). Daniela Cråsnaru's short stories, The Grand Prize and Other Stories appeared in early 2005(Northwestern UP). Sorkin has more than twenty-five books of Romanian translation in print or in press, and his translations have been widely published in literary magazines, including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry London, Poetry Wales, World Literature Today, Modern Poetry in Translation, and New England Review. He has won a number of awards and grants for his work, most recently, an NEA Poetry Fellowship for Translation for 2005-06.  

Photo by Nancy Sorkin