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 edited volumes and translations; and six books of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, and Self-Portrait with Dogwood. His writings have been translated into nearly forty languages; his journalism appears widely; his honors include a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government. As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and in April 2012 President Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities. www.christophermerrillbooks.com
Kelly Bedeian received a degree in Linguistics from the University of Iowa, after which she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ukraine. She went on to work on a variety of professional development and exchange programs, first for CONNECT/US-RUSSIA, then for IREX as the Country Manager for the IREX/Armenia office, and as the Regional Manager for the Internet Access and Training Program in the Caucasus Region. In 2004 Kelly joined the IWP staff, where she is a Senior Program Coordinator for overseas programs.
Cate Dicharry received a BA in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and a 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.
Angie Dickey graduated from Muscatine Community College with degrees in General Studies and, later, in Horticulture. She began her University of Iowa career as administrator in the School of Music; she joined the International Writing Program in 2016 as an accountant. Angie's hobbies include gardening, motorcycle riding and spending time with family.
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.
Sarah Elgatian received a BA in English and Creative Writing with education emphasis from Seattle University, after which she ran programs for underserved youth, with special focus on storytelling. In addition to writing and editing, she continues to work with young people at the Midwest Writing Center, and as a member of the Advisory Council for the Iowa Youth Writing Project.
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.
Allison Gnade received a BA in English at Grinnell College, studied the arts in London and Florence, and worked on organic farms in Italy and Sweden. Returning home to Iowa City, she coordinated events and communications for Iowa City’s local, independent food co-op grocery, and edited its local food magazine and blog for 8 years. She’s a baker on the side, baking tarts for Iowa City’s Farmers’ Market, and volunteers on the Board for Table to Table food rescue. She joined the IWP in 2018.
Lauren Haldeman is the author of Instead of Dying (winner of the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry, Center for Literary Publishing, 2017), Calenday (Rescue Press, 2014) and the chapbook The Eccentricity is Zero (Digraph Press, 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, The Colorado Review, Fence, The Iowa Review and The Rumpus. A poet, web designer and comic book artist, she has taught in the U.S. as well as internationally, including a reading and lecture tour of South Africa sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She has been a recipient of the 2015 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, the Colorado Prize for Poetry and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. You can find her online at http://laurenhaldeman.com.
Pamela Marston has taught literature and creative writing at university level for over twenty years, in hybrid, online, and campus course types. Her research areas have included 21st century literacies, environmental humanities, and art and politics. Her course design and course development consistently strives to include emerging genres and to promote inclusion.
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.
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.
Saunia Powell studied theatre at Grinnell College (IA) and did graduate work in Theology and Critical Theory at UC-Berkeley. She has taught English as a foreign language in China and California, and administered international service fellowships and global social innovator awards on behalf of Grinnell. She moonlights as a weekend on-call chaplain at Mercy Hospital and in her spare time directs community theatre in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
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.
Kelsi Vanada received MFAs in Poetry and in Literary Translation from the Writers’ Workshop and the University of Iowa, preceded by a BA in English and Spanish from the University of Denver. She has worked for the IWP as a Research Assistant, 2017 Fall Residency Assistant, and counselor for Between the Lines. Her translation of The Eligible Age by Berta García Faet was published with Song Bridge Press in 2018. She was a 2016 ALTA Travel Fellow and currently lives in Madrid.