Shivani Mehta, who studied with instructor Rick Bursky for several years, just published her first poetry collection. Her book, Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded, is forthcoming from Press53 in early spring 2013.

“In 2009 I stumbled into a poetry workshop with Rick Bursky. It felt as though something clicked in my head. I knew I had found the genre I was meant to write in–the prose poem. Thanks to Rick’s encouragement, I began sending out my poems to journals a few years ago. Imagine my shock when, between rejections, I got a few acceptances. I know this wouldn’t have happened without the Writers’ Program and Rick. Right from the start, he believed I could do it.”

Says Rick: “Over the last three years Shivani has dug in and worked hard, and has become a poetry reading-, writing- and studying-machine. Every year a thousand or so students head off to MFA programs hoping to graduate with a book. Shivani’s version of an MFA program was the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.”

Congratulations, Shivani!

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