International Conferences

IWP's international conferences are designed to bring together international and American writers in direct conversations around a pressing theme. They commonly result in a collection of topical essays, and in a short film documenting a gathering.

upcoming & open to the public:
Margins of the sea - preview summit (2019)

Peace  |  Global Understanding  |  Climate Change

May 14 & 15, 2019 on the University of Hawaii Campus in Honolulu, Hawai'i

In partnership with the Liljestrand Foundation, we are pleased to announce the preview of what is expected to be an annual series of international summits that value peace, greater global awareness, and environmental stewardship from the perspective of arts and culture.

This is an opportunity to come together with distinguished writers, thinkers, cultural organizers, and artists to discuss how to creatively advance a broader world perspective on climate change. More information:

TO WHAT do i belong?  (2017)

Poets, writers, playwrights and filmmakers specialize in translating private stories of conflicting identities into public discourse. In a period of tumultuous change such as the present, the conference brought together distinguished IWP alumni in the historically 'open city' of Tangier (Morocco) to address the question: to what do I belong? And, is it possible to create new stories to counter eruptions of extremism caused in part by the inadequacy of prevailing narratives of belonging and inclusion?

The Same Gate: A Poetic Exchange (2013)

Writers from the U.S., Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran convened in Turkey to participate in a conference centered around the life and work of celebrated 13th century poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a central poet in Afghan, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Turkish literature.

Souk Ukaz: A Market of Ideas (2009-2010)

Brought together a group of international and American writers to Maghreb and neighboring regions of the Mediterranean to study and witness first hand the conflicting facts of urban life. Based in Fes (Morocco).

The New Symposium (2006-2008)

Convened writers, artists, and thinkers from America, Greece, and around the world to the island of Paros to focus intensely on a common theme. Co-sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, EKEMEL (European Translation Center) and the Office of the Mayor of Paros.

Happening Now

  • Kristian Sendon CORDERO (IWP '17) co-edited a special issue of Words Without Borders on writing in the Philippines. Its range of poetry in the country's many languages includes Filipino work of Genevieve ASENJO (IWP '12).

  • Muhamed "Nabo" ABDELNABI (Egypt, IWP '13) has been awarded France's 2019 Prix de la littérature arabe for his 2016 novel, published last year in the UK as In the Spider's Room .

  • Over on  Asymptote, in English and Cantonese, the long poem " The Man Who Lost HIs Shadow,"  by Hong Kong poet and editor Stuart LAU (IWP '17).

  • On fish-paste English and cheddar-English: a long interview at LARB (Los Angeles Review of Books) about language, politics, and language politics with Burmese poet and worker KO KO THETT (IWP '16).

  • Behind the 2018+ 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature given to novelists Peter Handke  and Olga Tokarczuk are translators--one key among them Jennifer CROFT, novelist as well as translator from the Polish, Ukrainian, and  Spanish. Congratulations!

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