Program Dates: August 24 - November 12, 2013
THE INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM (IWP) is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. With a tradition of excellence that has continued on for nearly five decades, the IWP annually brings outstanding authors from every continent to the University of Iowa. Since 1967, over 1,400 writes from more than 130 nations have taken part in the Fall Residency. The goal of the IWP is to provide authors not only with the setting for cultural exchange, but also with the time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, travel, give readings, stage work, and become part of the vibrant literary and academic community at the University of Iowa – a major American research institution – and in Iowa City, the only American city designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.
The IWP is a unique inter-cultural experience for rising stars and established writers who have achieved literary distinction in their own countries, as well as demonstrated literary talent, broad appeal, and an interest in contributing to the creative writing culture in their home countries. Each fall, 30-35 writers gather in Iowa City for this 10-week residency to work on their own projects, to give readings and lectures, and to interact with American audiences and literary communities across the U.S. IWP writers share their literary cultures with others and establish contacts with the larger US publishing scene. For many of the participants, the IWP residency is their first stay in the United States.
The Iowa portion of the residency will run from August 24 - November 6, 2013.Weekly calendars featuring mandatory and optional events allow participants to carve out individual schedules that fit both public engagement and personal time to pursue individual writing projects; however, a finished project is not a requirement of the residency. Monday and Friday afternoons are reserved for writer-based UI courses on international literature and translation; Wednesday evenings feature writer-selected film screenings; excursions, field trips, and social gatherings take place on most Saturdays; and readings featuring IWP writers take place on Friday and Sunday afternoons. Tuesdays and Thursdays are generally kept free for writers to write and conduct research.
The program also provides many opportunities for the writers to take part in the university’s academic life. The IWP works closely with other writing units at the University of Iowa, including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the MFA Program in Translation, the Spanish Language Creative Writing Program, and the Playwrights’ Workshop. In addition, the program enjoys productive relationships with academic programs in Film Studies, Comparative Literature, and African, Asian, Latin American, Eastern European, and other literatures and languages. Each year the IWP fields dozens of invitations for our writers to visit classrooms as lecturers or conference presenters.
Readings by American and international writers of note are held almost nightly at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City. Between late August and mid-November, 2012, there were over 100 literary and theater events. Notable readers and performers included Geoff Dyer, Pulitzer Prize-winner Marilynne Robinson, Junot Diaz, Charles D’Ambrosio, Joyelle McSweeney, Justin Cronin, Bret Anthony Johnston, Robin Hemley, Ben Lerner, Deborah Eisenberg, Hisham Matar, Antoine Wilson, Mary Swander, Kenneth Goldsmith, and many others. Opportunities for interaction with visiting authors arise through informal receptions and small-group discussion sessions.
For participants with the appropriate funding, the IWP will arrange four days of domestic travel at the residency’s midpoint; and an additional week of travel directly follows the Iowa-portion of the residency.The travel periods give writers opportunities to confer with professional translators, publishers, and colleagues; to give talks or readings at other institutions; and to conduct work-related research in cities with major literary markets. The mid-residency travel period typically takes writers to cities in the western and southern United States for tourism and cultural programming. In past years, writers traveled to San Francisco, CA; New Orleans, LA; and Santa Fe, NM. Locations for 2013 are to-be-determined. The post-residency travel period begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in New York City.
Fall Residency Activities Include:
The IWP works with local and University leased properties to arrange for appropriate housing and other accommodations for the writers’ stay. Most IWP writers will live at the Iowa House Hotel (http://imu.uiowa.edu/iowahouse/), located directly on campus in the Iowa Memorial Union building (IMU). Writers will predominantly live on the same floor, which also includes a ‘common room’ for group use and an office for the IWP’s “Housing Coordinator.” Each room provides a private bathroom, a writing desk, wireless internet, as well as a mini-fridge, coffee pot, and microwave. Other available facilities within or near the IMU include cafeterias, the Bijou movie theatre, computer labs, and exercise facilities. A limited number of other guest housing may become available, depending on available funding and demonstrated need.
For any information about the application process specific to individual countries, and further information about the program, please contact:
International Writing Program
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-2020
Phone: (319) 335-3856
Fax: (319) 335-3843
IWP reading tour participant Chinelo OKPARANTA shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing.