Christopher Bursk Reading!

Please join the Newtown Bookshop as we celebrate the release of "With Aeneas in a Time of Plague", a collection of original poems by Christopher Bursk!   We will have a memorial reading in honor of Chris, a longtime Bucks County professor on Wednesday, November 10th at 7pm virtually.  J.C. Todd and Cheryl Baldi, who are Chris' grateful colleagues and former students, will be reading from Chris's book.

Please email or call the store at 215-968-2400 to be put on a list to receive the Zoom link to this event. 

Chris's Book is available instore at the Newtown Bookshop.  Call us at 215-968-2400 to reserve a copy or come visit!



Chris Bursk, recipient of NEA, Guggenheim, and Pew Fellowships, was the author of many books including his most recent, Dear Terror and Answer the Door. He was most importantly the grandfather of six.


"Aeneas in a Time of Plague" is a collection of original poems by Christopher Bursk. The poems are inspired by Vergil's Aeneid and deal with modern issues of love, loss, family, masculinity, and more.

“Christopher Bursk’s With Aeneas in a time of Plague is the most accomplished collection I’ve read in a long while. I might call it poignant and timely, vulnerable and intellectual, tender and unafraid because all of that is true, but more than that in the course of reading I felt like I was marveling at the construction of a bridge that’s reimagined physics. This collection collapses ancient history with current issues and uses dead language and shared, epic reading experiences to explore the sexuality, masculinity, war games, family dynamics, love, loss, and so much more. I’m awed by the way Bursk grounds us in personal territory while pointing beyond the self in subtle and poignant ways. These poems show what glory comes of living a life in verse.”        --Lisa Fay Coutley, author of tether

“What does the Aeneid have to do with us? Bursk, like Vergil, descends. He teaches us how the ordinary world becomes mythic in our memories, shaping our fears, our loves, and our fates. Then he brings us back the way that poets always have—through song. He writes, “We know music and poetry / will not save anyone, but we sing anyway.” In this time of disease and uncertainty, when many of us have lost so much, Bursk reminds us that the Aeneid is our story, too. Through this contemporary retelling, the epic is resurrected, and we realize that our lives are not more or less than this narrative, the speaker is no more or less than Aeneas, his father no more or less than Anchises, and we are lucky to experience this song, these poems, this grief and celebration, with him.      --Brandi George, author of Faun: A Play in Verse


J. C. Todd’s recent books are Beyond Repair, an Able Muse Press Book Award honoree, and The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press), an Eric Hoffer finalist. Honors include the Rita Dove Poetry Prize, Poetry Society of America finalist, and fellowships from the Pew Center, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Leeway Foundation, and residency programs. Her poems have appeared widely, in such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Mezzo Cammin, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner. She teaches with the Rosemont Writers Studio.



Cheryl Baldi is the author of The Shapelessness of Water and currently is at work on a new manuscript, In the Golden Hour, Cormorants. A former Bucks County Poet Laureate and a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she was a finalist for the Robert Frasier Award for Poetry and the Francis Locke Memorial Award. She has taught at Bucks County Community College, worked as a free lance editor, and served as co-facilitator for community-based workshops exploring women’s lives through literature. She lives with her husband in Bucks County and along the coast in New Jersey.

Event date: 
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
2835 South Eagle Road
Newtown, PA 18940
With Aeneas in a Time of Plague Cover Image
This book is not available.
ISBN: 9781933974422
Published: Ragged Sky Press - July 5th, 2021

This is a collection of original poems by Christopher Bursk. The poems are inspired by Vergil's Aeneid and deal with modern issues of love, loss, family, masculinity, and more. Many of the epigraphs are in Latin from the Aeneid and some are translated into English.