Usman ALI (playwright; Pakistan) researches physical and non-verbal theater, and is the founder of Ali's Theatre at the Mandibhauddin campus of the University of Sargodha. His English-language plays The Prisoners, The Guilt, The Last Metaphor, The Odyssey, The Breath, and The Flute have been published and performed in Pakistan, with three upcoming runs at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In 2014 he received he Taufiq Rafat Prize for Drama.
Chandramohan SATHYANATHAN (poet; India) is the author of poetry collections Warscape Verses (2014) and Letters to Namdeo Dhasal (2016), shortlisted for Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and the Harish Govind Memorial Prize. Sathyanathan coordinates English-language poetry readings in Kerala as well as a subaltern cultural collective there; in 2016 Outlook Magazine listed him as Dalit Achiever of the Year. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S.
Ramsha ASHRAF (poet, playwright; Pakistan) has a collection of poetry, Enmeshed (2015), publishes poems on her blog Escritura 415 and elsewhere, and contributes to literary magazines. At the Foundation University’s Rawalpindi campus she teaches writing courses, develops arts curricula and produces visual media. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Subodh SARKAR (poet, translator, editor, non-fiction prose writer, India) has published 29 books of poems. Among his honors are the Gangadhar Meher National Award from Sambalpur University, and the Sahitya Academy Award. A former editor of Indian Literature and thepresident of the Kobita (poetry) Academy, West Bengal, he is currently at work on an autobiography in poetry. His visiting professorship at the University of Iowa is funded by the Nehru-Fulbright Fellowship.
Akhil KATYAL (poet, translator; India) has translated works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Agha Shahid Ali, Amrita Pritam, and others. He teaches English literature at Shiv Nadar University, near New Delhi. His most recent collection of poetry is Night Charge Extra, published in 2015. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Wasi AHMED (fiction writer, Bangladesh) has published several collections of stories and four novels, most recently the volume Bok o Banshful (2015) and the novel Tolkuthurir Gaan, which won the 2015 Akhtaruzzaman Elias Book of the Year Award. His stories have been anthologized both in original and in English translation. Ahmed translates between English and Bengali, and writes for The Financial Express. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Vivek SHANBHAG (fiction writer, playwright; India), engineer by training, is the author of two plays, five short-story collections and three novels. His writing has appeared in Granta, Seminar, and Indian Literature; his most recent novel, Ghachar Ghochar, appeared in English in 2016. He writes in Kannada, and is the founder of the literary magazine Desha Kaala. His participation is made possible by the William B. Quarton Fund through the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the U.R.
Rochelle POTKAR (fiction writer, poet; India) is the author of The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories, and has three works in progress—a novel, a book of prose, and a book of poetry. Widely published online and in print, Rochelle is the co-editor of Neesah magazine, and an active member of Poetry Couture, which hosts poetry readings at cafes across India. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Michael MENDIS (fiction writer; Sri Lanka) has published a number of stories, including “The Sarong-Man in the Old House and an Incubus for a Rainy Night,“ which won the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the Asia region. His work has been anthologized internationally; his first collection of stories is forthcoming in 2015. He works as a researcher for the Sri Lanka-based Centre for Policy Alternatives. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Homeira QADERI (fiction writer; Afghanistan) is the author of six books, including the novel [Silver Kabul River Girl], published in Iran in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. An activist for women’s rights and currently a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, she teaches at the University of Kabul. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.