2013 Between the Lines

The 2013 Between the Lines Arabic World convened for its sixth year, bringing together 11 American students from seven different states with 12 Arabic-speaking students from Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Gaza, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.  In addition to daily creative writing classes, students attended numerous cultural events ranging from a playwriting workshop led by playwright and dramaturge Jennifer Fawcett, attended the Fourth of July celebrations, the Seldom Seen art festival, and explored the Marquoketa Caves State Park.   Students also traveled to Chicago, attending a theatrical performance, touring the city, and visiting the Chicago Museum of Natural History and Millennium Park.  

In 2013, Between the Lines also held its second ever session of BTL Russia with 10 Russian students coming to Iowa City from eight different cities and 10 American students attending from nine different states.  The two-week session brought together young writers for daily classes and cultural exchange. Special events included a trip to the Wildcat Den State Park and the Figge Art Museum on the Mississippi River, a visit to a local organic farm and prairie restoration site, a playwriting workshop with Kim Euell, and a trip to a rodeo at the Washington County Fair in Iowa. Russian students also visited Chicago and Washington D.C., touring The Poetry Foundation headquarters in Chicago, visiting Millennium Park and the Chicago Museum of Art, and visiting numerous museums in Washington D.C. and participating in a poetry slam workshop. 

BTL Arabic World: June 22nd-July 6th, 2013

BTL Russia: July 13th-July 27th, 2013

Meet the Instructors:

BTL Arabic World 2013:

John MURILLO’s first poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, was a finalist for both the 2011 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. His other honors include a 2011 Pushcart Prize, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, the New York Times, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Currently, he serves on the creative writing faculty at New York University.

Ghada ABDEL AAL is a blogger, newspaper and magazine columnist, screenwriter and author of the bestselling Ayza Atgawez (I Want to Get Married), a sociopolitical satire that examines the cultural expectations placed upon women of marriageable age in Egypt. Her book has been translated into five languages, and Abdel Aal’s comedic screenplay adaptation won The Golden Pyramid award at the Cairo Arabic Media Festival. Ms. Abdel Aal is an alumna of the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency, and recipient of the 2012 Bauer Prize for promising new writers at Incroci di Civiltà, Venice’s International Literary Festival.

 BTL Russia 2013:

Alan CHERCHESOV has published the novels Requiem for Living (1994; and, in English, Northwestern University Press, 2005), Wreath for the Grave of the Wind (2000), and Villa Belle-Lettre (2005), in addition to numerous short stories. He was an IWP resident in 2010, during which time he finished his latest novel, Don Ivan (2012). Cherchesov is the president of the Institute of Civilization, a private educational institute in Vladikavkaz, in North Ossetia, Russia. The recipient of a number of literary prizes, he was a finalist for the 2001 and 2006 Russian Booker Awards. His novel Don Ivan was nominated for Russia's Big Book Award.

Kiki PETROSINO is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program. She is the author of two volumes of poetry, Fort Red Border (2009) and Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013), both from Sarabande Books. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Tin House, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago.


Happening Now

  • To mark PEN International’s centennial, Words Without Borders has published a sampler of works by writers committed to freedom of expression. Algerian novelist and scholar Med MAGANI is among them.

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

Find Us Online