Richard Burgin is a fiction writer, editor, composer, critic and teacher. Born in Brookline, Massachusetts he graduated from Brandeis University and received advanced degrees from Columbia in New York. Burgin is the author of 19 books, including the forthcoming Hide Island: A Novella and Ten Stories (Texas Review Press, October 2013) as well as the novels Rivers Last Longer (2010) and Ghost Quartet (l999), and the short story collections The Spirit Returns (2001), Fear of Blue Skies (l998), Private Fame (1991), and Man Without Memory (l989). The latter three books were each listed as a Notable Book of the Year by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johns Hopkins University Press published Richard's most recent story collections, Shadow Traffic and The Conference on Beautiful Moments (2007). His book, The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs, was listed in The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 2006 and was listed in The Huffington Post as one of the 40 best books of fiction in the last decade. The Identity Club also includes a CD of his musical compositions. Burgin’s stories have won five Pushcart Prizes and 15 others have been listed by that prestigious anthology as being among the year’s best.The title story of The Identity Club was also reprinted in Best American Mystery Stories 2005 and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (published by Harper Perennial 2008) edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Other stories have been reprinted in the anthologies New Jersey Noir (Akashic Books), New Stories from the Midwest, The Best of Witness and As the Story Goes: Twenty Five Years of the Johns Hopkins Short Fiction Series, among others.
L'Ecume des Flammes, a Richard Burgin Reader, was published in France, in French, by 13e Note Editions in February 2011. Burgin's most recent books are Shadow Traffic, a collection of stories published by Johns Hopkins University Press, Hide Island: a Novella and Nine Stories, and Don't Think, a collection of stories published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2016).
His other books include Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, the first book-length series of interviews with Borges in English, which has been translated and published in eight foreign language editions and has become a standard reference book for the many scholarly and critical books that are published about Borges that have followed (Burgin conducted the interviews when he was only twenty years old). A substantial part of the book was reprinted in Jorge Luis Borges: The Last Interviews by Melville House in 2013. Burgin is also the author of Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer, which has been translated and published in six foreign language editions. A major excerpt from the book appeared in two parts as the cover story in The New York Times Magazine.In the 125th Anniversary Edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (l980) there were fifteen different quotations from Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Burgin was the founding editor of Boston Review, New York Arts Journal and the publisher and founding editor of the internationally distributed literary journal Boulevard (l985-), now in its 31st year of continuous publication. Published by Saint Louis University, Boulevard, generally considered one of the country’s leading literary journals, has won numerous city, state, and national grants and awards (including seven consecutive maximum sized grants from the National Endowment for the Arts). Pieces from it are frequently reprinted in the country’s leading anthologies, such as The Best American Poetry, The Best American Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The O.Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Essays, etc. In April 2015, Burgin edited (with Jessica Rogan) The Best Stories from Boulevard, 1985-2015 Volume 1.
Burgin’s criticism and reviews have frequently been published by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, (where he was Critic at Large for the Globe Magazine and a columnist for the newspaper), The Philadelphia Inquirer, The St. Petersburg Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Partisan Review, Boston Review, etc. He has taught at Tufts University, The University of California at Santa Barbara and Drexel University. Most recently, he was a professor of Communication and English at Saint Louis University from 1996-2013. A composer of over 100 pieces and songs, Burgin is the composer of the CDs, The Trouble With Love, as well as In All of the World, House of Sun, Don't Go There, Cold Ocean, and the CD he co-produced with Gloria Vanderbilt, Doll of Dreams.