Origins Podcast

Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast is an interview series with writers from around the world addressing the origins of their creative works, the literary and social cultures in which they write, and the art of language.

2018 Episode Schedule

January 15: Kirmen Uribe, Spain
February 15: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Kenya
March 15: Vladimir Martinovski, Macedonia
April 15: Kinga Tóth, Hungary
May 15: Panashe Chigumadzi, South Africa/Zimbabwe
June 15: Maung Day, Myanmar
July 15: Esther Dischereit, Germany
August 15: Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Somalia/Italy
September 15: Sharlene Teo, Singapore
October 15: Dilman Dila, Uganda
November 15: Gozo Yoshimasu, Japan
December 15: Julienne van Loon, Australia

2017 Episode Schedule

January 15: Vivek Shanbhag, India
February 15: Ameena Hussein, Sri Lanka
March 15: Zhou Jianing, China
April 15: Tse Hao Guang, Singapore
May 15: Courtney Sina Meredith, New Zealand
June 15: Mariano Tenconi Blanco, Argentina
July 15: Henriikka Tavi,  Finland 
August 15: Stephanos Stephanides, Cyprus
September 15: Alice Yousef, Palestinian Territories
October 15: zp (Priya) Dala, South Africa
November 15: Shenaz Patel, Mauritius
December 15: Akhil Katyal, India  

Episodes


Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor on What It Means to be Human

February 15, 2018 | Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor | 22:10

Host Christoper Merrill talks with Kenyan writer Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor about the courage of addressing historical darknesses, as well as her first novel, Dust.

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Kirmen Uribe on Basque Language

January 15, 2018 | Kirmen Uribe | 25:35

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Basque writer Kirmen Uribe about his literary achievements in The New Yorker and elsewhere, as well as his novel Bilbao-New York-Bilbao.

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Akhil Katyal on Poetry and Language

December 15, 2017 | Akhil Katyal | 27:57

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Indian poet and translator Akhil Katyal about the influence of the poet Agha Shahid Ali, the technique of writing in different languages, as well as his forthcoming work, The Doubleness of Sexuality: Idioms of Same-Sex Desire in Modern India. 

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Shenaz Patel on Social and Cultural Issues

November 15, 2017 | Shenaz Patel | 33:53

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Mauritian writer Shenaz Patel about the recognition of the sovereignty of Chagos Archipelago, as well as her Novel, Le Silence des Chago.

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zp Priya Dala on Revolutionary Writing and Magical Realism

October 15, 2017 | zp Priya Dala | 31:22

Host Christopher Merrill talks with South African writer Zp Priya Dala about being a psychologist and physical therapist and the Black Consciousness Movement, as well as her novel, The Architecture of Loss.

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Alice Yousef on Poetry Influence

September 15, 2017 | Alice Yousef | 30:13

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Palestinian writer Alice Yousef about the difficulties of writing in Arabic and overcoming the challenges of portraying the complicated subjects presented as a part of the Palestinian experience, as well as her poem, How to Survive an Evening in a War Zone.

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Stephanos Stephanides on Memory Fiction

August 15, 2017 | Stephanos Stephanides | 30:47

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Cypriot writer Stephanos Stepanides about the complexity of the notion of home and the creative and subversive nature of literary translation, as well as his film, Poets in No Man’s Land.

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Henriikka Tavi on Emotions in Conceptual Poetry

July 15, 2017 | Henriikka Tavi | 30:17

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Finnish writer Henriikka Tavi about the rebirth of Finnish literature, conceptualism, publishing, and her new novel that is as she says, “Gertrude Stein meets chick lit.”

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Mariano Tenconi Blanco on Experimental Theater

June 15, 2017 | Mariano Tenconi | 32:30

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Argentinian writer Mariano Tenconi Blanco about his play, Everything would make sense if death did not exist, about the way he works with slang and voice to shape character, his admiration for Jorge Luis Borges, and the ways that he creates a procedure, or a hypothesis, around which his plays are organized.

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Courtney Sina Meredith on Her Urbanesian Voice

May 15, 2017 | Courtney Sina Meredith | 36:19

Host Christopher Merrill talks with New Zealand writer Courtney Sina Meredith about her latest book of stories, Tail of the Taniwha, and their underlying Pasifika Politique. They also discuss the strength Meredith receives from her family and her community, and the importance of mentorship amongst artists.

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Happening Now

  • Behind the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, shared by novelists Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke, are translators--one key among them Jennifer CROFT, translator from the Polish, the Ukrainian, and the Spanish. Congratulations!

  • "Resisting English": at NYRB, Adam Kirsch reviews three decades of the translated work of the Japanese novelist and essayist Minae MIZUMURA (IWP '03).

  • Just out in Beirut, the intriguingly titled ['Laughter as Destructive History'] by the Iraqi poet, translator, and editor Soheil NAJM (IWP '07).

  • Death is Hard Work, the fifth title of the Syrian novelist Khaled KHALIFA (IWP '07), published by FSG in Leri Price's translation, is on the long list of the 2019 National Book Awards, in the Translated Literature category.

  • In the travel journal Off Assignment,  journalist and novelist Milagros SOCORRO (Venezuela, IWP '12) recalls a snowy day in Iowa City, and one woman's special gesture.

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