In the summer of 2018, BTL once again hosted its combined session, welcoming 36 students from 11 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa, 10 cities across the Russian Federation, and 10 U.S. states to Iowa City, Iowa. Focusing on Peace and the Writing Experience, the session brought together young writers from diverse backgrounds to explore distinct histories, languages, and cultures, while also approaching world literatures and writing as a dialogue that leads to empathy and a shared understanding of the human condition.
For two exciting weeks, participants learned from one another through creative writing workshops, global literature seminars, and special events featuring international authors, guest speakers, and cultural exchange activities. BTL faculty included prize-winning authors Ameena Hussein (Sri Lanka), co-founder of Perera Hussein Publishing House, and alumnus of the IWP’s Fall Residency; Armen Ohanyan (“Armen of Armenia”) President of PEN Armenia, and alumnus of the IWP’s Fall Residency; and Kiki Petrosino (United States), professor and Director of The Creative Writing Program at the University of Louisville, and graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
By the end of the session, participants grew not only as writers but also as citizens of the world.
BTL Russian/Arabic: July 14-28