Carmen Bugan was born in Romania in 1970 and emigrated to the US with her family in 1989 as political dissidents. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford.
Her publications include two collections of poems, The House of Straw (due out shortly from Shearsman) and Crossing the Carpathians (Oxford Poets/Carcanet, 2004), a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile (Legenda, Oxford /Maney Publishing, 2013), and the internationally acclaimed memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (Picador, UK; Graywolf, USA, 2012). The American edition of this book has won the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction and the English edition was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and shortlisted for the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing. Her memoir is being translated into Swedish and Polish. Bugan’s poems have been translated with a critical introduction into Italian and have been published in Punto – Almanacco Della Poesia Italiana 2012. Her work is also published and anthologised in Harvard Review, PN Review, Penguin’s Poems for Life, Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American, the Tabla Book of New Verse, the Forward Book of Poetry, Magma Poetry, the TLS, and Modern Poetry in Translation.
A recipient of a large grant from the Arts Council of England, Bugan was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford and a Fellow at the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. She is currently researching the secret files that the Romanian Secret Police had kept on her and her family and is writing a book about having lived on both sides of the Iron Curtain. She is also working with the BBC on a documentary about her family. Bugan lives in France with her husband and children.