Lyrical Somerville – December 13

On December 13, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


Tara Skurtu is a two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University and a double degree in English and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Tara has taught at Boston University as a lecturer in creative writing, a lecturer in composition at BU’s Prison Education Program, and she served on the planning and teaching team for Robert Pinsky’s 2014 MOOC, The Art of Poetry. Her poems are published and translated internationally, and her work appears in magazines such as Salmagundi, The Kenyon Review, Plume, and Poetry Review. Tara is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania and the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game (Eyewear, 2017). Tara writes: My two January readings will be at: The Grolier, Tuesday 1/9, 7:00 p.m. and Porter Square Books, Saturday 1/13, 4:00 p.m.




Tara Skurtu

Dad hears there’s a town in Romania

where almost everyone is a Skurtu,

and I think about Jo-Ann Fabric.

The aisles of zippers, mismatched bolts

of cloth that frenzied my eyes electric—

and on all of these, a zebra-striped sticker

with the letters SKU. Skurtu supplies.


If this town exists, I imagine it’s full

of dads teaching their children to draw

shapes: circle, square, slibeedoo.

A town with balls—like Dad, when a cop

pulled him over for no apparent reason,

looked at his license and said,

Step out of the car, Mr. Skrewtoo.

Looking that cop in the eye, Dad said,

That’s not how you pronounce it.

My name is Mr. SkrewYou.


In that one-family town, no one loses

a name. Unlike Mr. Freid, whose grandfather,

at Ellis Island, spoke the only English words

he knew but couldn’t spell. I am afreid.

And fear, with a foreign accent, renamed him.


— Tara Skurtu



To have your work considered for the Lyrical send it to:
Doug Holder, 25 School St.; Somerville, MA 02143


Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.