2014 Cuba Tour




Painter Félix DE LA CONCHA was born in Leon, Spain; awarded in 1989 the Prix de Rome at the Spanish Academy, he lived in Rome for five years before moving to the United States in 1995. Solo shows in the U.S. include One Season from Each Corner at the Columbus Museum of Art, One a Day, 365 Views of the Cathedral of Learning at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Private Portraits / Public Conversations at the Hood Museum of Art and Fallingwater en Perspectiva, a tour exhibition. He has done performances of painting live at the Toledo Museum of Art with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, at La Semana Negra in Gijon and at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

Carmen GIMENEZ SMITH is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds (2010), three poetry collections—Goodbye, Flicker (2012), The City She Was (2011) and Odalisque in Pieces (2009)—and three poetry chapbooks, and the co-editor a fiction anthology, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (2010). She has received an American Book Award, a Juniper Prize for Poetry, and a Howard Foundation fellowship in creative nonfiction, and is the editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press. She teaches creative writing at New Mexico State University and Ashland University.

Edward HIRSCH is a poet and critic. He has published eight books of poems: For the Sleepwalkers (1981), Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), Special Orders (2008), and The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010).  He has also written five prose books: the bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), Responsive Reading (1999), The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (2002), Poet's Choice (2006), and A Poet’s Glossary (2014). He is the editor of Transforming Vision: Writers on Art (1994) and of Theodore Roethke's Selected Poems (2005), the co-editor of A William Maxwell Portrait: Memories and Appreciations (2004) and The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008), and the series editor of The Writer's World (Trinity University Press).  He has received the Prix de Rome, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship.  He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many works of translation and edited volumes, among them, The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon; and five books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. His work has been translated into nearly forty languages, his honors include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government, and his journalism appears in many publications. As director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, he has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries.

Happening Now

  • 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.

  • The poetic documentary Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores, written and co-produced by Takako ARAI and creatively subtitled into English by a class of UI students of Japanese, will be screened at the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, on-line 10/7-14/2021.

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