AbdullahTHABIT (poet, fiction writer; Saudi Arabia) is the author of six books, including the poetry collections [Ripping - ألهتك] (2009) and [Taboo CV – cv حرام] (2012), and the novel [The 20thTerrorist – الإرهابي20] (2006). His most recent novel, [The Face of the Sleeper - ,وجه النائم] was published earlier this year. He was named one of the Beirut39 Writers Under 39 at the 2009 Hay Festival. Currently he works at the Department of Education in Jeddah. His participation is provided courtesy of Beirut39 and the William B.
Mahir ÖZTAS (poet, fiction writer, essayist; b. 1951, Turkey), one of the original voices of modern Turkish literature, has been publishing poems, short stories, and novels for more than thirty years. He graduated in architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, a career that took him to Saudi Arabia, through Europe, Asia, and North Africa. He now devotes his full time to writing. His first book was Unutulmak Tozlari ( "Dust of Forgottenness," 1983), a collection of poems.
Sulkhan ZHORDANIA (literary critic, poet, writer; b. 1939, USSR; lives in Georgia) is a noted literary critic, fiction writer, and poet. He is a professor of English at the International Black Sea University, and at the Sokhumi Branch of Tbilisi State University where he teaches American literature, the short story, drama, and stylistics.
Asim Mohamed AL SAIDI (poet; b. 1967, Oman) is the IWP's first writer from Oman. Mr. Al-Saidi started crafting poetry as a student during his second year at Sultan Qaboos University. His poems have been published in an array of local and regional newspapers and magazines, and some have been broadcast on television and radio. He is participating courtesy of the Department of State.
Moshe SAKAL (novelist, fiction writer; Israel) is the author of a collection of short stories, התרחיש [The Scenario] and three novels (1997), האי אני [The Not-I] (2002), אחייך אליך, אחייך [I Smile at You] (2007), and יולנדה [Yolanda] (2011). He directs literary projects for the Israel Center for Books and Libraries in Tel Aviv, is a contributing editor at the literary journal הו! [Oh!], edits a culture blog (blog.moshesakal.com/), and regularly reviews books in Haaretz Daily newspaper.
Iman HUMAYDAN (novelist, fiction writer; Lebanon) is the founder of ARRAWI, a non-profit center for marginalized youth in Lebanon. Her short stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in German, Swiss, French, and Arab newspapers and magazines. Her novels BMithl Beit, Mithl Beirut (B as in Beirut) and Toot Barri (Wild Mulberries), have been published in Arabic, French, German, and English, followed, in 2010, by the third, Hayawat Okhra [Other Lives].
Soheil NAJM has published four books of poetry, [‘Breaking the Phrase’] (1994), [‘Your Carpenter O Light’] (2002), [‘No Paradise Outside the Window’] (2008), and the anthology Flowers in Flame (2008). In addition, he has translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and José Saramago. Najm is currently the editor of the Althaqafa Alajnabia ["Foreign Culture"] journal in Baghdad. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
Zahiye KUNDUS received her B.A. in history and comparative literature at Hebrew University this year. She works for an Israeli-Palestinian NGO, ‘Windows,’ whose educational and cultural programs aim to promote understanding, and reconciliation between the people from both nations. She is a translator for Windows’ bi-lingual youth magazine, and contributes articles to the book supplement of Ha’aretz newspaper and the literary journal Ma’ayan. She is writing a novel about life in Jaffa.
Khaled KHALIFA has written extensively for film and television and authored three novels (titled, in translation 'The Guard of Deception,' 1993; The Gypsy Notebooks, 2000; and In Praise of Hatred, 2006), published in multiple editions in the Arab world. His honors include a 2007 award from the Ismaiiliyah International Festival for Documentaries and a 2005 Award for Best Script for Bab al Maqam, from the Valencia Film Festival. Currently, he is working on his fourth novel, A Parallel Life.
Najwan DARWISH works in his native Jerusalem. His first poetry collection, [He was Knocking at the Last Door] was published in 2000; selections of his work have been translated into English, French and Spanish. In 2009 Darwish was selected by the Beirut39 Festival as one of the best Arab-language writers under the age of 39. He is the editor of the Min wa Illa magazine, which publishes the works of Arab writers and artists in the region. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.