2018 Between the Lines

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.

2018 Session Dates:

BTL Russian/Arabic: July 14-28

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.

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