2017 Between the Lines

Between the Lines conducted two sessions in the summer of 2017, bringing together groups of young artists to focus on creative writing and literature, while exploring histories, cultures, languages, and what identity means to them.

In 2017, Between the Lines brought together 22 students and three adult chaperones from Russia and the NEA region, and 14 young Americans. Participants attended seminars and workshop courses designed to increase awareness of world literatures and improve their writing craft. Classes were led by prize-winning poets and prose writers. Weekend events and nightly activities allowed students to deepen their understanding of each other’s cultures through specialized creative exploration. Events included bookmaking, slam poetry, open mic night, literary translation, and a group trip to Lake Macbride State Park. We asked a great deal of these 39 young writers, and they exceeded expectations at every turn. Over the course of two weeks in Iowa City, their shared experiences yielded global-minded understanding, and lifelong bonds.

In addition to BTL Russia Arabic, a special session occurred, bringing together 11 students from different Muslim and largely immigrant populated communities from 7 states including: Michigan, New York, Louisiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio. Participants spent mornings in literature courses and special seminars and afternoons in creative writing workshops with their faculty member. Events included a guided Text & Context discussion about identity, digital storytelling, slam poetry, and a movement workshop. Through each activity and workshop, the participants learned what it meant to dismantle assumptions and stereotypes by creatively engaging and working with each other. For just one week, students exchanged creative work, deep discussions, and pure curiosity that made this special program a magical one. 

2017 Session Dates:

  • BTL Russia Arabic: July 1-July 15, 2017
  • BTL Identity & Belonging: July 22-July 29, 2017

Happening Now

  • We regret the passing, on April 11, 2024, of the distinguished Romanian author and critic Dan Cristea, who served as the editor in chief of the Luceafărul de Dimineață cultural monthly. In addition to being an alum of the 1985 Fall Residency, Cristea received his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa.

  • Our congratulations to 1986 Fall Residency writer Kwame Dawes, who has been named the new poet laureate of Jamaica.

  • Congratulations to our colleagues Jennifer Croft and Aron Aji, who are among those serving as judges for the National Book Awards this year, in their case in the category of translated literature.

  • Ranjit Hoskote’s speech at the 2024 Goa Literary Festival addresses the current situation in Gaza.

  • In NY Times, Bina Shah worries about the state of Pakistani—and American—democracy.

Find Us Online