2015 Venezuela Tour

Participants:

Originally from south Texas, Stephanie ELIZONDO GRIEST is the author of the memoirs Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines as well as the guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go. She has written for The Believer, Oxford American, New York Times, and Washington Post, and edited the anthology Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010. The winner of a Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, she has been a Henry Luce Scholar in China, a Hodder Fellow at Princeton, and currently teaches Creative Nonfiction at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jennifer Elise FOERSTER’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies including New California Writing 2011 and Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas. Her first book of poems, Leaving Tulsa (2013), was a Shortlist Finalist for the 2014 PEN Open Book Award. She has received a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Of German, Dutch, and Muscogee descent, Foerster is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She is a non-profit development consultant, and is also pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

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

  • 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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