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.
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:
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.