Dr. Christopher Bursk, award-winning poet, 1943–2021

June 28, 2021

Christopher Bursk

Award-winning poet and educator Dr. Christopher Bursk passed away Monday, June 21. He was seventy-eight.

In addition to receiving the AWP Donald Hall Poetry Prize in 2004, Bursk also received NEA, PEW, and Guggenheim fellowships. He was recognized with the Allen Ginsberg Prize, the Green Rose Prize, and the New Letters Prize in Poetry, among many other awards and honors.

Bursk was director of the Poet Laureate program, and he taught for over fifty years at Bucks County Community College, where he received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was also a dedicated humanitarian, volunteering his time teaching a writing course at Bucks County prison, helping food banks and women’s shelters, advocating for the homeless, and organizing for farm workers’ rights.

Bursk was the author of eighteen books. His poetry collections include The First Inhabitants of Arcadia, Cell Count, and Places of Comfort, Places of Justice: Poems. His upcoming poetry collection, With Aeneas in a Time of Plague, will be released posthumously, with a launch and reading to honor his life and work.

AWP joins the literary community in mourning his death.

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