A Horseman's Son and a Bad Girl

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Hualing Nieh Engle went to Taiwan from China Mainland in 1949. She became the literary editor and a member of the editorial board of the outspoken fortnightly Free China, the leading intellectual magazine in Chinese at the time (1949-1960). She also taught creative writing at National Taiwan University, and published seven books of fiction and translation before she came to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1964. With Paul Engle, whom she married in 1971, she co-founded the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1967 and co-directed it until 1988 when they retired. She is the author of 22 books of fiction, essays and translations. Mulberry and Peach—Two Women in China, a novel in Chinese, was published in seven languages; the English version won the American Book Award in 1991.

Paul Engle was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His parents were descendants of German immigrants from the Rhineland. All had been farmers until his father entered the business of horses--race horses, coach horses, saddle horses.

A graduate student at the University of Iowa (1931-32), he won the "Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize" with his first manuscript of poems. Between 1933 and 1936 he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. On returning from England he began teaching at the University of Iowa, eventually expanding a writing class into the prestigious Writers' Workshop.

The New York Times contributed its whole first page to his second book of poetry, American Song, calling it "A New Voice of American Poetry." Paul published over 20 books, among them 11 volumes of poetry.
In l967, he and Hualing founded the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa They married in 1971. In 1976, over three hundred writers nominated the Engles for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1990, he won the Award for the Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Literature.

He died at the Chicago airport on the way to Poland to receive the Medal of Merit with Hualing Engle in 1991.

1967: First year of the IWP