Andrei Codrescu
Author Special Guest

Andre Codrescu headshot.jpg

I was born in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, where in the 16th century they burned witches, in 1989 they shot students. In the teens of the 20th century the citizens didn’t flinch when Europe’s second biggest theatre festival set off fireworks at midnight. I emigrated to Detroit in 1966 where a revolution was in progress. Tanks of the 82nd airborne and National Guard rolled down Woodward Avenue and shot at anyone out after the 6pm curfew. I moved to New York City in 1966, where I met poets. My first poetry in English, License to Carry a Gun, was published in 1970. I lived in San Francisco and in the Northern California town of Monte Rio. In 1983 I founded Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Books & Ideas (1983-

-2016). I taught literature and poetry at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, and Louisiana State University. In 1983 (anno mirabilis), I wrote weekly for The Baltimore Sun and the City Paper, and started commenting regularly on NPR (National Public Radio.) In 1989, I returned to Romania to cover the fall of the Ceausescu regime for NPR and ABC News, and wrote The Hole in the Flag: an Exile's Story of Return and Revolution. After this return, I reconnected with the Romanian language, and have gone back every two years. The result is a body of work in Romanian. English is still my primary language, but I think that being bilingual is beneficial. My most recent books are:

  • Visul Diacritic (Editura Nemira, 2021) poetry in Romanian

  • No Time Like Now (Pitt Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

  • The Collected Japanese Ghost Stories of Lafcadio Hearn, which I introduced and edited (Princeton University Press, 2019

  • The Art of Forgetting: New Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016)

  • Bibliodeath: My Archives (with Life in Footnotes) (Antibookclub, 2012)

  • So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House, 2012)

  • Whatever Gets You Through the Night: a Story of Sheherezade and The Arabian Entertainments (Princeton University Press, 2011)

  • The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess, (Princeton University Press, 2009)

  • The Poetry Lesson (Princeton University Press, 2010)

Visit Andrei's website to learn more about him and his books.

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Photo credit Tara Gray