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 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
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).
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.
Peter Gerlach received his BA and MA degrees in English from Ripon College and the University of Northern Colorado, respectively. After serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Mongolia, he earned a PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University. Since 2004, he has taught a variety of university-level courses in both English and Education departments. Prior to coming to the University of Iowa, he was Director of International Affairs at Coe College.
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.
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 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.
Caitlin Plathe received her BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. An alumna of IWP’s Between the Lines program, she has held several assistantship positions at IWP. She is also the author of I Am No Plath, a volume of poems.
Saunia Powell studied theatre at Grinnell College 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.
Alisa Weinstein received a BFA in Drama and MA in Educational Theatre from New York University, and a PhD in Anthropology from Syracuse University; she also studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and conducted dissertation research on a Fulbright-Nehru scholarship. Among her other writing, she authored scripts for India’s Sesame Street, Galli Galli Sim Sim, and is currently at work on an ethnography on tailors working in Jaipur, India. A co-founder of Home Ec. Workshop in Iowa City, she often teaches knitting and sewing to crafters of all ages.