2015 Ukraine Tour

Participants:

Elliot ACKERMAN is the author of the novel Green on Blue (2015) and the forthcoming novel Dark at the Crossing (2017). A former White House Fellow, his writing frequently appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He currently lives in Istanbul and writes on the Syrian civil war.

Jeffrey BROWN is author of the recent poetry collection The News (2015), which draws on his work of a quarter of a century as a correspondent and producer for the PBS NewsHour, the nightly news program for public television in the United States. He currently serves as Senior Correspondent and Chief Arts Correspondent for the program, and as host of Art Beat, the NewsHour’s arts and culture blog. As a co-anchor and moderator he has interviewed many leading American and international newsmakers, moderated studio discussions on a vast array of topics, and reported from across the United States and around the globe. As arts correspondent he has profiled many of the world’s leading writers, musicians and other artists.

Jennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN and National Endowment for the Arts grants, as well as the Michael Henry Heim Prize, and her translations from Polish, Spanish, and Ukrainian have appeared in The New York Times, n+1, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, BOMB, Guernica, The New Republic and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a Founding Editor of The Buenos Aires Review. Read illustrated chapters of her debut novel—in a wide range of languages—at homesickbook.space. The original Spanish version, Serpientes y escaleras, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House Argentina in 2016.

Joan NAVIYUK KANE is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife and Hyperboreal. She has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, the USA Projects Creative Vision Award, an American Book Award, the Alaska Literary Award, and fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Alaska Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the School for Advanced Research. Kane graduated from Harvard College, where she was a Harvard National Scholar, and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of a graduate writing fellowship. Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, she raises her children in Anchorage, Alaska, and is a faculty mentor with the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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.

IWP Staff Coordinator:

Kelly BEDEIAN received a degree in Linguistics from the University of Iowa, after which she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, then went on to work on a variety of professional development and exchange programs, including as a Country Manager for Armenia and the Caucasus Region with IREX.  She joined the IWP in 2004, where she is an Administrative and Program Coordinator.

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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