Prof. Marcela Sulak

Associate professor
Bldg. 404 room 210
Reception Hours
Sem I Tues 8:45-11:45; Sem II M 9-:00-10:45 & 12:00-15:15; W 9:00-10:45
    Fields of Interest

    Early twentieth century American literature and culture, poetry and poetics, immigration and migration, translation, nationalism, modernism and gender. My current research explores what immigrant poets meant when they said they were writing “American” poetry in languages other than English.


    Current position

    Director of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing

    Poetry coordinator, Associate Professor of English

    Positions Held

    2005-2010 Assistant Professor, Department of Literature, The American University,

    Washington, DC

    2000-2005  Assistant Instructor, Department of English, The University of Texas at Austin


    Grants Fellowships: National Endowment of the Arts Translation Fellowship, The Mellon Grant, the FLAS Academic Fellowship for work in Yiddish; FLAS fellowships for Czech & Yiddish, The Atwood Research Grant


    Ph.D., English (2005), University of Texas, Austin, TX

    M.A., Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

    M.F.A., Poetry Creative Writing, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

    B.A., English Honors & Psychology, Summa Cum Laude, University of Texas,

    Austin.  Certificate:  Liberal Arts Honors Interdisciplinary Program  (Plan I)


    Early twentieth century American literature and culture, poetry and poetics, immigration and migration, nationalism, modernism and gender. My current research explores what immigrant poets meant when they said they were writing “American” poetry in languages other than English.


    253 American Literature II

    451 Multi-Genre/Hybrid Literature

    707 Poetic Prosody & Genre

    934 Multi-genre creative writing workshop: Documentaries

    8870 Poetic prosody and Translation

    African American Poetics


    Transatlantic Modernism

    American Immigrant Literature





    1. City of Sky Papers, Black Lawrence Press (May 2021) Finalist for the Jewish National Book Award

    2. Decency, Black Lawrence Press (August 2015)

     3. Immigrant, Black Lawrence Press (March 2010)

    4. Of All the Things that Don’t Exist, I Love You Best, Finishing Line Press, (November 2008)  


    Mouth Full of Seeds, Black Lawrence Press (March 2020)

    Edited Editions

    Family Resemblances:  An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres. With Jacqueline Kolosov. Rose Metal Press, 2015.

    * Winner of the 2015 INDIEFAB Gold Medal for Adult Nonfiction

    Book-Length Poetry Translation

    1. Twenty Girls to Envy Me by Orit Gidali, from the Hebrew, with critical introduction. The University of Texas Press, 2016. Nominated for the 2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

    2. A Bouquet of National Folk Stories, by Karel Jaromir Erben, from the Czech with critical introduction. Twisted Spoon Press, 2012.

    selections of translation used to subtitle the Czech national entry into the Ancy International Film Festival, 2012, produced by Czech Television.

    3. Bela-Wenda Poems from Congo-Zaire from the French, by Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, Host Publications, 2011.

    4. May by Karel Hynek Macha, from the Czech, with critical introduction. Twisted Spoon Press, 2005. Second edition, 2010. Translation used for subtitles in the Prague National Theater multi-media production: 420PEOPLE (April-May 2012; May 2013, May-June 2015).


    Articles and Book Chapters

    1. “Teaching Ottava Rima in a multi-lingual creative writing workshop in Israel.”  Creative Writing and Education, Ed. Graeme Harper, Great Britain: MLM Press, 2015.

    2. “The New Yesterday: The Researched Poem.” Wingbeats II: Exercises and Writing in Poetry, Ed. Scott Wiggerman & David Meischen. Dos Gatos Press, 2014.

    3. “Internationalizing the MFA,” in New Writing: the International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. Routledge/Taylor and Francis, March, 2013.

    4. “Rivers, Roads and Conveyor Belts:  The making of America(n poetry),” Ostrava Journal of English Philology, 2011.

    5. “Translation and Transgression” Poet Lore, spring 2009 Second Century of New Writing: 110-Year Anniversary Edition.



    1. "Steel Songs: A Poetry Manifesto" in The Manifesto Project, Ed. Rebecca Hazelton and Alan Michael Parker, The University of Akron Press, 2017. 

    2. "The Tenderness in Looking. On Doll Studies: Forensics, and Exit, CivilianThe Los Angeles Review of Books, April 10, 2014.

    3.  “The God Box,” Rattle, No. 41, summer 2013.

    4. “Getting a Get,” Runner up in the Iowa Review Nonfiction Prize, The Iowa Review, Dec. 2012.

    5. “The Best Almond Cake I Ever Made,” with Tala Rahmeh, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Additional poems have been seen and heard in the Library of Congress, plastered on the City Buses of Washington, DC and Virginia, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and have most recently appeared in the pages of such journals as "The Cimarron Review," Fence," "Black Warrior," "New Letters."


    Scholarship in Progress:  Translated Time and Space:  The multivoiced Lyric in 1920s New York, which identifies the modernist, multi-voiced, or social lyric poem, characterized by the chronotope of translated time-space.  The study reads the semiotics of the physical and cultural landscape of 1920s New York as an assimilationist text, and then turns to five exemplary poets whose lyric poems fight against assimilation and for a multi-cultural national narrative.  The poets, who are comprised of immigrants, migrants and the poor, subvert the post-romantic lyric by depicting subjects who argue for recognition not as individuals, but as American individuals.

    Last Updated Date : 25/12/2022