Silk Routes Between the Lines

Twelve students, identified by Silk Routes participants through their local projects, traveled to Iowa City in July 2016 to participate in the IWP’s Between the Lines (BTL) creative writing and cultural exchange summer program for young writers ages 16-19 alongside American and international students. BTL Silk Routes included one instructor selected from among Silk Routes participants to teach at the BTL session, and one Silk Routes teacher-chaperone to accompany students and participate in teacher enrichment. The IWP has conducted BTL since 2008, with a bi-lateral structure, Arabic-language or Russian students, paired with American students. In 2014, the IWP conducted its first multilingual session, with Arabic-language, Russian, and American students. It is this model that was used for the Silk Routes session, with twelve Silk Routes students, twelve American students, and twelve students from another region learning from representative instructors.

The young Silk Routes writers lived and studied on the University of Iowa’s campus, attending daily creative writing workshops focused on a range of styles and processes, interspersed with peer-to-peer translation activities and literary seminars that drew on the literatures of all regions represented.

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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