IWP Staff

Christopher Merrill
100 Shambaugh House

Christopher Merrill has published seven 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 des Arts et des Lettres from the French government, numerous translation awards, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial and Ingram Merrill Foundations. As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa since 2000, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries. He served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 2011-2018, and in April 2012 President Barack Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities. www.christophermerrillbooks.com

Shelly Criswell
Shelly Criswell
Fall Residency Coordinator
100 SHSE

Shelly Criswell (Fall Residency Coordinator) began her career teaching composition, writing, and research courses at the university level. For over a dozen years she was the Managing Editor at the nation’s oldest literary magazine, the North American Review. In her spare time, she considers herself a pretty serious at-home cook, a writer, a visual artist, and a super-fan of NPR (National Public Radio). She joined the IWP in 2020.

Nataša Ďurovičová
Nataša Ďurovičová
100 Shambaugh House

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. She has also co-edited World Cinemas,Transnational Perspectives (2010; the winner of SCMS's 2011 Best Edited Collection award) and the essay collection At Translation's Edge  (2019), and is one of the two translators of André Bazin on Adaptation: Cinema's Literary Imagination (2022). In 2023, she co-curated the exhibit "A Hub, A Network, an Archive: 55 Years of International Writers in Iowa City."

A portrait of Monique Galpin.
Monique Galpin
Administrative Services Manager
100 Shambaugh House

Monique Galpin joins the IWP after a decade of administrative services with the Carver College of Medicine, where she worked in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and coordinated the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), a pathway program for underrepresented undergraduate students.  She is a longtime member of the UI African American Council, and has been involved in community boards including FilmScene and Sankofa Outreach Connection. Her current favorite literary pursuit is helping her little one through the '1,000 Books Before Kindergarten' challenge with Iowa City Public Library.

Lauren Haldeman

The Writing University Webmaster 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
Digital Learning Coordinator
100 Shambaugh House

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.

A portrait of Mike Meginnis
Mike Meginnis
Communications Coordinator
100 Shambaugh House

Mike Meginnis received an MFA in Fiction from New Mexico State University, where he served for several years as Managing Editor of the literary magazine Puerto del Sol. He is the author of the novels Drowning Practice (2022, Ecco) and Fat Man and Little Boy (2014, Black Balloon). His story “Navigators” appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012. He has served in several positions at the University of Iowa, working to communicate with various audiences, plan events at every scale, and provide support to learners of many ages.

Romeo Oriogun
Youth Programs Coordinator
100 Shambaugh House

Romeo Oriogun is a Nigerian poet, essayist, and the author of Sacrament of Bodies (2020), Nomad (2021) and The Gathering of Bastards (2023), as well as three chapbooks. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has won the Nigeria Prize for Literature, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Prize, the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the Lambda Prize for Gay Poetry. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Narrative Magazine, The Common, and elsewhere, and are translated into several languages. As of 2023, he coordinates IWP’s youth programming.

Happening Now

  • Just completed: “Sense of Belonging,” a bilingual Iowa City + Paris-based podcast series commissioned by Walid Rachedi and produced by NFW grad students in both cities, with support of the US Embassy in Paris.

  • Word has just reached us of the sudden death, in his hometown Gdańsk, of the novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright Paweł Huelle. RIP.

  • “I regret that poems can’t serve as witnesses in military tribunals; they can only testify in the court of history,” writes Iya Kiva in an essay for the project “War Is… Ukrainian Writers on Living Through Catastrophe.”

  • Congratulations to novelists Mansoura Ez-Eldin and Taleb Al-Refai for placing on the 2023 finalist list of the prestigious Prix de la littérature arabe.


  • Samuel Kolawole’s first novel, The Road to the Salt Sea, is announced for a July 2024 release.

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