Clara Burghelea comes to us with a world of experience, she served as Editor-at-large for Village of Crickets, a literary website, covering events for Small Points of Light. Taken from Roxane Gay’s interview with AWP on literary citizenship, Small Points of Light was a space for exploration where she wrote about visiting readings, panels, attending literary events in the NYC area and interviewed some of the greatest poets and writers.
Clara reads poetry for several US poetry magazines, and is a contributing editor for Miletus, an international magazine.
She received the Robert Muroff Poetry Award in 2018 and completed her MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University the same year. Clara’s poetry collection, The Flavor of The Other, is scheduled for publication in 2019 with Dos Madres Press.
Clara is a talented poet who writes in English, though her native language is Romanian. Her love and interest in English go way back to the moment she began studying English in school, in communist Romania. The love affair with language prompted her decision to pursue a career as a translator.
She began to write after experiencing personal loss with emotions and unresolved feelings translating into poetry and the decision to embark on a 2-year MFA program at Adelphi University, New York followed.
What do you hope to achieve during your time at the Blue Nib?
I intend to join the large literary community in UK and Ireland and look forward to discovering new poetic voices, as well as becoming a conduit between readers of poetry and poets. I hope to in some small way encourage and foster a literary taste in poetry and build on the creative literary conversation.
What are you hoping to find in your submission pile?
I will look for both diverse, under-represented, fresh voices, and established ones that bend and forge language, pushing it past its formulaic edges. Mostly, I want to read poems that blend craft and imagination in an innovative and moving way.
What do you not want to see in your submissions file?
I don’t want to read sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, or ableist content.
What would turn you off a submission?
Forced, incoherent, offensive language. Also, I won’t consider submissions that don’t follow the guidelines.
What do you see as an editor’s main responsibility to our contributors? And to our readers?
As an editor, responsibility to the contributors is to give a close reading of their poetry with an unbiased, thorough, kind eye.
But the primary responsibility is to the readers. To select content, give them sharp, unexpected poetry. To paraphrase Jenny Boully, have them ask themselves: “Did something explode inside of me? Did something recently die? Is there today enough poetry to confront the page?”
In your opinion, what makes a submission shine.
One that has poems that feel as much as they think, language choices that give me goosebumps and ignite my imagination, where my senses are blown away.
What are you reading at the moment, or what have you read that struck a chord with you and why?
I am a hoarder of books, so my book collection is a never-ending pile. I am an eclectic reader of genres, voices and styles. In terms of poetry, Emily Skaja’s Brute is a delight. Her poems are beautifully visceral. Her lines strike me with their rawness and imagery. I am about to finish Michele Filgate’s What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, a collection of essays on the mother wound and the complicated relationship with motherhood, motherlode, mother figures. My fiction choice at the moment is The Gulf by Belle Boggs, a climate fiction adventure. Also, I am a foodie so I cannot help salivate at the lush, taste-provoking words of Boris Fishman in his part memoir, part cookbook exploration, Savage Feast.