Professor’s poem selected for debut issue of literary journal

October 20, 2017

UW-Stout English Professor Lopa Basu talks with students.

Growing up in a tropical climate in India, Lopa Basu wondered what winter would be like in a place where it’s cold. Snow. Subzero temperatures. Icy roads and breath. Heavy coats.

Now that she lives in a sub-Arctic climate — she’s an English professor at UW-Stout — she tries to remember what the warm monsoon rains felt like as they brought welcome relief to the dry, scorching Indian summer.

Basu draws from those juxtaposed feelings and memories in her poem “Winter Games,” which has been selected for the debut issue of Barstow & Grand, an Eau Claire literary journal.

“My poem is about living in two continents and trying to find a home in the midst of geographical distances,” Basu said.

A journal debut reading, with Basu and many of the 23 other featured writers, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, a Volume One Gallery in Eau Claire. The journal includes poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

The event is part of the 18th annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival.

Three other writers with UW-Stout connections also had poetry selected for the debut issue: Jerome Poling, University Communications assistant director, “Music Man”; Sandra Lindow, recent adjunct instructor in English, “Prelude”; and Jane Jeffries, recent adjunct instructor in English, “Unforgiveness.”

Of 202 poems submitted to Barstow & Grand, 19 were selected for publication.

Basu has focused on scholarly writing about literature during much of her career but in recent years has been drawn to writing her own poetry. She has had six poems either accepted or published since 2016. She attended a poetry residency, Cirenaica, sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and facilitated by Kimberly Blaeser, former Wisconsin poet laureate.

At UW-Stout, she teaches literature and writing, including the works of many poets.

A former director of the Honors College at UW-Stout, Basu has a doctorate in English from City University of New York and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.

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UW-Stout English Professor Lopa Basu talks with students.