Richard Burgin (writer)
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|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer, poet, literary critic, professor, editor|
|Notable works||Debut Criticism: Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (1968)
Debut fiction: The Man with Missing Parts (1973)
Debut Short Story CollectionMan Without Memory (1989)
Debut Novel: Ghost Quartet(1999)
Richard Burgin is an American fiction writer, editor, composer, critic, and academic. He has published sixteen books, and from 1996 through 2012 was a professor of Communication and English at St. Louis University. He is also the founder and editor of the internationally distributed award-winning literary magazine Boulevard, now in its 28th year of continuous publication.
Richard Burgin grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and received a B.A. from Brandeis University. His first published book was a collection of interviews he conducted with the Latin American writer, Jorge Luis Borges, while Burgin was still an undergraduate. Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969) was the first book-length series of interviews with Borges in English and has been translated and published in ten foreign language editions. Burgin later received a Master's with highest honors from Columbia University.
In 1975 he was one of the founding editors of the New Boston Review, now Boston Review magazine. In 1985 he published Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer, which to date has been translated into eight foreign language editions. A major part appeared as a two-part cover story in the New York Times Magazine. His stories have received numerous prizes and awards, including five Pushcart Prizes. Among his sixteen published books, The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs (Ontario Review Press, 2005) was listed by The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 2006. The Huffington Post recently named it one of the 40 best books of fiction in the last decade. The title story of The Identity Club was reprinted in Best American Mystery Stories 2005 and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (Harper Perennial, 2008) edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Writing in the Daily Beast/Newsweek, Joyce Carol Oates said, "What Edgar Allan Poe did for the psychotic soul, Richard Burgin does for the deeply neurotic who pass among us disguised as so seemingly 'normal,' we may mistake them for ourselves." In an interview published in the literary journal Pleiades, Burgin said, “My goal is and always has been to depict people as honestly as I know them, which means writing about their mistakes as well as their victories, their fear as well as their courage (the two are always mixed), their cruelty or selfishness as well as their kindness.”  In another interview, with The Philadelphia Inquirer, he said, "One of the things I try to achieve in some of my short stories is a kind of novelistic density or weight. My stories tend to have a number of characters, a period of time going by, and character and thematic development." 
As a critic, Burgin has published numerous essays and reviews in (among many others) The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Partisan Review, Chicago Review,The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Boston Globe, where he was a columnist for both the paper and The Globe Magazine.
Texas Review Press recently published Burgin's novel Rivers Last Longer in November 2010. The anthology L'Ecume des Flammes, a Richard Burgin Reader, was published in February 2011 (in French) by 13e Note Editions. Reviewing the book in Le Monde, critic Florence Noiville wrote, "There is something electrifying, even addictive, in the writing of Richard Burgin." In 2011, Johns Hopkins University Press published Burgin's story collection Shadow Traffic. His most recent book is Hide Island: A Novella and Nine Stories (2013).
Burgin founded the literary journal Boulevard in 1985 and continues to serve as editor. In an interview for the book Creating Fiction: A Writer's Companion (Harcourt Brace, 1995) Burgin said, "At Boulevard we're open to different styles of writing. We try to be eclectic in the best sense of the word and to be mindful of Nabokov's dictum, 'there's only one school, the school of talent'"." Boulevard has been called "one of the half-dozen best literary journals" by Poet Laureate Daniel Hoffman. Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic, writing in the New York Review of Books said, "Boulevard [is one of the eight magazines] young writers and poets, of course, pay attention to...since that's where they hope to publish their work." In addition to Boulevard and Boston Review, Burgin was the founding editor of the New York Arts Journal. He has previously taught at Tufts University, Drexel University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. For the last fifteen years, he has been Professor of Communication and English at Saint Louis University.
Burgin has also composed the music and words for six CDs, one of which was co-produced with Gloria Vanderbilt.
- L'Ecume des Flammes (A Richard Burgin reader published in French by 13e Note Editions, 2011)
- The Memory Center (2012) (Novella)
- Rivers Last Longer (2010)
- Ghost Quartet (1999)
Short story collections
- Hide Island: A Novella and Nine Stories (2013)
- Shadow Traffic: Stories (2011)
- The Conference on Beautiful Moments (2007)
- The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs (2006)
- The Spirit Returns (2001)
- Fear of Blue Skies (1998)
- Private Fame (1991)
- Man Without Memory (1989)
- Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations (Editor) (1998)
- Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer (1985)
- Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (1969)
- Stories and Dream Boxes with art by Gloria Vanderbilt (2002)
- The Man With Missing Parts, a novella with J. M. Alonso (1973)
Prizes and anthologies
- New Jersey Noir - "Atlantis" (fiction) (2011) (Akashic Books)
- New Stories from the Midwest 2011 - "Do You Like This Room" - (Ohio University Press)
- Le Livre Des Felures: 31 Histoires Cousues De Fil Noir - "La Nuit Oceane" (fiction) (2010)(13E Note Editions)
- The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 - "The Identity Club" (2005) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- So the Story Goes - "Bodysurfing" (fiction) (2005) (The Johns Hopkins University Press)
- The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction selected by Joyce Carol Oates - "The Identity Club" (fiction) (2008)(Harper Perennial)
- The Show I'll Never Forget - "Bill Evans at the Jazz Workshop" (Essay) (2007) (Da Capo Press)
- 2007 Pushcart Prize - "Vacation" (fiction) (Pushcart Press)
- Witness: Our Best 2987–2004 Fiction, Poetry & Nonfiction" - "Bodysurfing" (fiction) (2004) (Michigan State University Press)
- 2004 Under the Arch: St. Louis Stories - "The Park..." (fiction) (2004) (Antares Press)
- 2002 Pushcart Prize - "Miles" (fiction) (Pushcart Press)
- 1999 Pushcart Prize - "Bodysurfing" (fiction) (Pushcart Press)
- American Fiction Volume 10: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers - "Nouina's House" (1999) (New Rivers Press)
- Critical Essays on Isaac Bashevis Singer - "The Sly Modernism of Isaac Singer" (Essay) (1996) (G. I. Hall & Co.)
- The Philomathean Society Anthology of Poetry - "Concertmaster, for My Father" and "Necessary Night" (Poems) (1996) (Philomathean Society Press)
- Creating Fiction: A Writer's Companion - "Emotional Real Estate: An Interview with Richard Burgin" (Interview)(1995)(Harcourt Brace College Publishers)
- Isaac Bashevis Singer: Conversations - "Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer" (Interview) (1992)(University Press of Mississippi)
- 1986 Pushcart Prize - "The Victims" (fiction) (Pushcart Press)
- Storytellers: A Serial Fiction Anthology" - "Man Without Memory" (Fiction) (1986) (Foundation for Arts Resources)
- 1982 Pushcart Prize - "Notes on Mrs. Slaughter" (fiction) (Pushcart Press)
- Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry - "Concertmaster" (Poetry) (1981) (Monitor Book Company, Inc.)
- Vol. 1 American Writing Today - "The Sly Modernism of Isaac Singer" (Essay) (1980) (Forum Series)
- Behind the Scenes: Theater and Film Interview From the Transatlantic Review - "Jorge Luis Borges" (Interview) (1971) (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.)
- founding editor of Boston Review (formerly Boston Arts Review), 1975
- founding editor of New York Arts Journal, 1975–1982
- founding and current editor of Boulevard, 1985–present
CDs composed and written by Richard Burgin
- The Trouble with Love (2008) (CD Baby)
- Don't Go There (Included with the book The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs) (2005)
- Cold Ocean (2005)
- Gloria Vanderbilt's Doll of Dreams (2005) (Produced by Gloria Vanderbilt)
- House of Sun (2001)
- In All of the World (2000)
- "Department of Communication Faculty". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Biography". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Who's Who in the World 2010 (Marquis)
- "Joyce Carol Oates’s Book Bag: 5 Short Story Collections". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Interview with Eric Miles Williamson in Pleiades, Vol. 24:2
- The Philadelphia Inquirer, Books Section, "Talking with Richard Burgin: Fear and Amazement Motivate His Fiction" by Thomas J. Brady, March 1, 1998.
- Creating Fiction: A Writer's Companion (Harcourt Brace, 1995)
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
- The New York Review of Books