Craig Czury has lived in Berks County since 1991, creating poetry and poetry performances in schools, community centers, juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, and mental hospitals. For years he organized a noche de poesía poetry vaudeville at the Puerto Rican Latin Association in Reading. Currently, he is a part-time lecturer at Albright College and Berks County’s Poet Laureate (2010-2012).
Author of 21 books of poetry, many of which have been translated into several languages, Czury recently earned his M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he was awarded the prestigious Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. His most recent book is BECAUSE ALTHOUGH DESPITE.
Czury has also been awarded many national and international fellowships to continue his collaborative poem fusion performance and poetry mural projects. From 1995-96, he spent a year with AmeriCorps*WritersCorps in Washington, D.C., conducting poetry workshops with inmate-patients at St. Elizabeths Psychiatric Hospital. In 1999, through an Americans For The Arts artist exchange fellowship, Czury developed a series of poetry performances in Northern Ireland,
through the Derry Playhouse, uniting Catholic and Protestant communities for BBC Radio Foyle. And from 1997-2000, he created a community documentary with poetry throughout Berks County with his National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored Berks Poetry.
He has edited two anthologies, FINE LINE THAT SCREAMS, from his Northeast Pennsylvania Prison Poetry Project, and UN SEGUNDO EN EL TIEMPO/A SECOND IN TIME, poets of the Reading Hispanic community. Czury is also co-translator of books by Lithuanian poets Liudvikas Jakimavičius and Antanas Jonynas, and the Albanian poet Shaip Emërllahu. In 2011, he was presented the prestigious Laureateship and Honorary Member of Ditët e Naimit Award by the Albanians for his literary bridge building between U.S. and Albanian cultures.
Publisher of Old School Press poetry pamphlets, avid blues harp and bocce player, Czury lives in Springville, Pa. where he hitchhikes up and down Rt. 29 conducting interviews with whoever picks him up in the heart of N.E. PA’s fracking region.