Christopher MERRILL has published six collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many works of translation and edited volumes, among them, The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon; and five books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. His work has been translated into nearly forty languages, his honors include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government, and his journalism appears in many publications. As director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, he has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries.
Kelly BEDEIAN received a BA degree in Linguistics from the University of Iowa, after which she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Kelly went on to work on a variety of professional development and exchange programs as a Program Manager at CONNECT/US-RUSSIA, a non-profit organization based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2001 Kelly returned to life overseas, working with the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) first as a Program Manager for the Community Connections program then later in a dual role as the Country Manager for the IREX/Armenia office and the Regional Manager for the Internet Access and Training Program in the Caucasus Region. Kelly joined the IWP staff in 2004.
Donna BROOKS holds a BS in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Donna joined the International Writing Program in 2016.
Cate DICHARRY received her BA in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and her MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside’s low-residency program. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, The Nervous Breakdown, Role/Reboot and other publications. Her debut novel was published by Unnamed Press in April 2015. Before joining IWP she taught English at Dalian Nationalities University in Dalian China, and worked at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History.
Nataša ĎUROVIČOVÁ divides her time between editing, teaching, scholarly work, and translating. She is the editor of IWP's imprint 91st Meridian Books at Autumn Hill Books, and the program's journal 91st Meridian., and the co-editor of World Cinemas,Transnational Perspectives (2010), the winner of SCMS's 2011 Best Edited Collection award.
Hugh FERRER, on staff since 2001, serves as a Senior Editor of the Iowa Review, and on the boards of Iowa City’s UNESCO City of Literature and the University of Iowa’s Center for Human Rights. For many years, he has been on faculty at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival; and the UI courses he has taught have introduced undergraduates to fiction writing, international literature, journal publishing, and Iowa City’s literary culture.
Meggan FISHER received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of Iowa. She is a working studio artist and an active member of the local arts community, serving on multiple art juries and portfolio review teams. Meggan joined the International Writing Program in 2015.
Jeffrey LAUBER earned a BA in International Studies from the University of Iowa, with a Minor in Spanish and a Certificate in Writing. He has worked with the IWP since 2014.
Kathleen MARIS PALTRINERI attended high school in Iowa and Seoul, studied at the University of Oslo, and taught English as Second Language in Madrid. She has a dual B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and International Studies from Iowa State University, and an MFA in Poetry from the University of New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, ILK, Alice Blue Review, Thrush Poetry Journal and elsewhere; she was also a poetry editor at Barnstorm. Before joining IWP she taught ESL at the University of New Hampshire.
Peter NAZARETH, from Uganda of Goan descent, is Adviser to Foreign Writers. He has published several books of fiction and criticism, including the novel In a Brown Mantle. Educated at Makerere University and Leeds, he is Professor of English and African-American World Studies. His course, Literatures of the African Peoples, received the Distinguished Independent Study Course Award from the National University Continuing Education Association. His second novel, The General Is Up, was reprinted by TSAR Books, Toronto. A collection of critical essays on the work of Ngugi is forthcoming. His work has been translated into Hungarian, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Bengali, Hebrew, Arabic, Serbo-Croatian, Portuguese, and Konkani. He teaches a widely-publicized course on Elvis as Anthology at the University of Iowa.
Mary NAZARETH was born in Tanzania and is of Goan descent. She is in charge of the day-to-day lives of the International Writing Program participants. She assists the Program with practical matters and helps writers with the variety of needs that arise from their adjustment to living in Iowa City. She has been associated with the IWP for over 25 years.
Benjamin SCHMIDT is an MLIS student at the School of Library Science at the University of Iowa with the Certificate in the Public Digital Humanities. He is also a HASTAC Scholar at the Obermann Center at the University of Iowa and holds a BA in History from Brandeis University. He joined the International Writing Program in July 2016.
Susannah SHIVE is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston | Tufts University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has taught fiction writing and creative writing at the University of Iowa. Her background includes research knowledge management for higher education and marketing management at the global architectural design firm Perkins+Will.
Charles TRUONG is a senior at the University of Iowa, where he is studying English and Computer Science. He is a freelance videographer and president of the University of Iowa's breakdance club.