ko ko thett (poet, translator; Myanmar) has won a PEN Translation Award for Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets (2012), co-edited with James Byrne. His The Burden of Being Burmese (2015) explores the untenable notion of ‘‘Burmese.’’ After working in South East Asia and Europe, ko ko thett returned to his native Yangon. He writes in both Burmese and English. His participation is made possible by the Open Society Foundation.
Wasi AHMED (fiction writer, Bangladesh) has published several collections of stories and four novels, most recently the volume Bok o Banshful (2015) and the novel Tolkuthurir Gaan, which won the 2015 Akhtaruzzaman Elias Book of the Year Award. His stories have been anthologized both in original and in English translation. Ahmed translates between English and Bengali, and writes for The Financial Express. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Khaled ALKHAMISSI خالد الخمیسي (fiction writer, non-fiction writer; Egypt) is the founder and president of the Quena storytelling festival and the Mansoura literary festival. His 2007 collection Taxi: Cabbie Talk has been translated into 21 languages, including English; his novel [Noah’s Ark] appeared in 2009, and was followed, in 2014, by the non-fiction 2011. He is extensively involved in organizing public events to promote Arab and Egyptian literatures, cinemas, and culture. His participation is made possible by the Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.
Eros ATALIA (fiction writer; Philippines) teaches Filipino language, journalism, and film production and theory at the University of Santo Tomas. A recipient of numerous awards for his essays, poems, and fiction, he has had the story “Si Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino” and the novel Ligo na u, lapit na me adapted to film. He is currently completing a PhD in Linguistics at the University of the Philippines. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Odeh BISHARAT (fiction writer; Israel) is an Arab-Israeli newspaper columnist and political activist. His first novel, [The Streets of Zatunia], (2007) was translated into Hebrew and Finnish; the Hebrew translation of his second novel, Donia, will be released in 2017. He participates courtesy of the United States-Israeli Education Foundation.
Galit Dahan CARLIBACH (fiction writer; Israel) is a writer, essayist and creative writing teacher. Her several books include the YA series Arpilea and two novels, [The Locked Garden] and [On the Edge], which won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew writers. She has also been awarded the National Library’s Pardes Scholarship, and the Acum Prize. She participates courtesy of the United States-Israeli Education Foundation.
CHEN Ko Hua 陳克華 (poet, fiction writer, painter; Taiwan) studied at Taipei Medical University and Harvard Medical School; he now practices as an ophthalmologist at the Taipei Veterans’ General Hospital. He is the author of more than twenty volumes of poetry; his collection [Tears of Ignorance] was recently translated into Japanese. His work often addresses LGBTQ issues. His participation is made possible by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture.
zp (Priya) DALA (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; South Africa) is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first novel, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Loss, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times and elsewhere. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Mara GENSCHEL (poet; Germany) published her first book of poems, Tonbrand Schlaf, in 2008. She now works on projects involving visual and aural aspects of poetry, publishes book art, and collaborates with performance artists. Her participation is made possible by the Max Kade Foundation.
Obari GOMBA (poet, playwright; Nigeria) teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, and has facilitated writing workshops for the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital. In 2013 his volume Length of Eyes was longlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature; the most recent of his three poetry collections, Thunder Protocol, appeared in 2015. He writes on issues of class, justice, and culture. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.
Mortada GZAR مرتضى كزار (novelist, filmmaker, visual artist; Iraq) has an engineering degree from the University of Baghdad. The films he wrote, directed, and shot have been featured in international festivals; his animated “Language” won the Doha Film Award. He has three novels: [Broom of Paradise] (2008), [Sayyid Asghar Akbar] (2013), and [My Beautiful Cult] (2016), and is a regular contributor to the Lebanese newspaper al-Safir al-Arabiandis. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Ruel JOHNSON (fiction writer, poet; Guyana), a journalist and editor, is the author of several collections of poetry and short stories. In 2002, his Ariadne & Other Stories won the Guyana Prize for Literature for Best First Book of Fiction; the collection Fictions won later the same award. A cultural advisor to the government of Guyana, Johnson is involved in policy development and implementation. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Akhil KATYAL (poet, translator; India) has translated works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Agha Shahid Ali, Amrita Pritam, and others. He teaches English literature at Shiv Nadar University, near New Delhi. His most recent collection of poetry is Night Charge Extra, published in 2015. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
LEE Chae Won (fiction writer; South Korea), essayist and novelist, studied French literature. Her [My Beautiful Marathon] won the Hyundae Munhak Award for Novels in 2010, and was acknowledged by the Arts Council Korea in 2012. Her [Run, Mural] won the 2011 Hanuri Munhak Award for Young Adult; [Sarah Sa Boutique], her 2014 short story collection, was selected as a Sejong Nanum Book. She participates courtesy of Arts Council Korea.
Courtney Sina MEREDITH (poet, playwright, fiction writer, musician; New Zealand) published her award-winning play Rushing Dolls in 2012; a poetry collection, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick, appeared the same year. A new book of short stories, Tail of the Taniwha, is available in August 2016. Her writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, French and Bahasa Indonesia. Her participation is made possible by Creative New Zealand.
Amanah MUSTAFI (screenwriter; Singapore) is a broadcast journalist and TV screenwriter. Her stories and scripts have received multiple awards; the drama Kalimah Terakhir was anthologized in Anugerah Persuratan 2011, a collection of Malay literary award winners selected by the Malay Language Council. Her work has been seen in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. She participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council.
NG Suk-yin Virginia 伍淑賢 (fiction writer, essayist; Hong Kong) writes stories, often about her generation’s life in contemporary Hong Kong, recently gathered in the collection [People from the Mountain]. The collection of essays [Night Follows Day] is forthcoming. Her stories have been widely anthologized, both in Chinese and in English translation. She works as a communications consultant. She participates courtesy of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.
Ukamaka OLISAKWE (screenwriter, novelist, nonfiction writer; Nigeria) writes TV scripts (most recently the series “The Calabash”), essays, short stories, and has one novel. Selected in 2014 by the Africa39 Project as one of the continent’s 39 most promising writers under the age of 40, she has had her work appear in the New York Times. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Yusi Avianto PAREANOM (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Indonesia) the founder of the publishing house Penerbit Banana, has a novel and several collections of short stories, among them Rumah Kopi Singa Tertawa [The Coffee House of the Laughing Lion] (2011). He has also been involved in theatrical productions, films, and other multimedia art ventures. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Shenaz PATEL (fiction writer, playwright; Mauritius) has written many novels, plays, and short stories in both French and Mauritian Créole: best known is her 2005 novel Le silence des Chagos. As a working journalist, she writes about social and cultural issues; much of her writing seeks to unearth the unsaid and untold. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Carlos PATIÑO PEREDA (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Venezuela), a lawyer, human rights activist and former president of the national labor union "Sintrainces," has published a collection of stories, [I Will Kill You Twice]. In 2015 his [“Concentric Circles”] won El Nacional’s 70th annual story competition. He is at work on his first novel. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Vladimir POLEGANOV (fiction writer, screenwriter, translator; Bulgaria) translates between Bulgarian and English. He also teaches a course on fantasy fiction at Sofia University, where he is working towards a Ph.D in Bulgarian literature. His most recent novel, [The Other Dream], will come out in 2016. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Yaroslava PULINOVICH (playwright; Russia) is an actress as well as a prolific playwright. Her plays are performed in in Russia and abroad. The film adaptation of [“I Won’t Come Back”] has received recognition at international film festivals in Rotterdam, Vlissingen, Moscow, and New York City. Moscow Times named her play [“Natasha’s Dream”] as one of the top ten Russian plays of the 21st c. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Hensli RAHN SOLÓRZANO (musician, fiction writer; Venezuela) is the author of story collections, Crónicamente Caracas (2008) and Dinero fácil (2014), named the best Venezuelan short story book of the year by El Universal. A regular contributor to literary journals and news sites, including Contrapunto, Sacven, and Prodavinci, he is also a songwriter; in 2008 his band Autopista Sur released the album Caracas se quema. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.
Subodh SARKAR (poet, translator, editor, non-fiction prose writer, India) has published 29 books of poems. Among his honors are the Gangadhar Meher National Award from Sambalpur University, and the Sahitya Academy Award. A former editor of Indian Literature and the president of the Kobita (poetry) Academy, West Bengal, he is currently at work on an autobiography in poetry. His visiting professorship at the University of Iowa is funded by the Nehru-Fulbright Fellowship.
Legodile ‘Dredd X’ SEGANABENG (poet, fiction and nonfiction writer; Botswana) is a high school art teacher and spoken-word poet, performing regionally in Southern Africa, and across the country of Botswana. A recipient of the Bessie Head Literature Award, he frequently writes on human rights and women’s rights. His first novel, Josie, is being published in 2016. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone.
Vivek SHANBHAG (fiction writer, playwright; India), engineer by training, is the author of two plays, five short-story collections and three novels. His writing has appeared in Granta, Seminar, and Indian Literature; his most recent novel, Ghachar Ghochar, appeared in English in 2016. He writes in Kannada, and is the founder of the literary magazine Desha Kaala. His participation is made possible by the William B. Quarton Fund through the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the U.R. Ananthamurthy Fund for Karnataka Culture through the University of Iowa.
SHIBASAKI Tomoka 柴崎友香 (fiction writer; Japan) is a novelist. In 2003 her first book, Kyō no dekigoto, was made into a film. Her work appears in literary magazines; several stories have been published in English translation. Her novel Sono machi no ima wa (2006) won the MEXT Award for New Artists; in 2014 her novella Haru no niwa won the Akutagawa Prize. Her participation is made possible by the Japan Foundation.
Stephanos STEPHANIDES (poet, memory-fiction writer, translator, filmmaker; Cyprus) is professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cyprus. In 2005 he published Blue Moon in Rajasthan and Other Poems; in 2008 he won the first prize for video poetry for Poets in No Man’s Land at the Nicosia International Film Festival. His poetry has been published in a dozen languages; he has served as a judge for the 2000 and the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize. His participation is made possible by an anonymous donation to the IWP.
Henriikka TAVI (poet, fiction writer, translator; Finland) teaches creative writing, collaborates with artists from different art branches, and translates from the Swedish and German into Finnish. She is a founding member of Poesia, a poetry publishing cooperative, and the author of 12, an experimental poetry book project. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Mariano TENCONI BLANCO (playwright, Argentina) has written nine plays and directed several plays and operas; his work had been performed in many countries. Among his awards is the first prize for New Playwright given by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Culture for [Everything would make sense if death did not exist] (2015). He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Tetiana TROITSKAYA (fiction writer, poet, nonfiction writer; Ukraine) graduated from the Skovoroda National Pedagogical University in Kharkiv, and now teaches English philology there. Her novel Akvamaryn dlia vodoleyi won the 2012 Oles Honchar Prize. Her participation is made possible by the William B. Quarton Fund through the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
TSE Hao Guang 谢皓光 (poet; Singapore) is the author of hyperlinkage (2013) and Deeds of Light (2015); the latter was shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize. He co-edits the literary journal OF ZOOS, is the essays editor of poetry.sg, and is co-editing UnFree Verse, an anthology of Singaporean poetry. He participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council.
Christine YOHANNES (poet, writer, translator; Ethiopia) conducts poetry workshops in schools and is the founder of the monthly “Poetic Saturdays” gathering, where everyone can express themselves through art. Missing Words, a poetry collection, appeared in 2014. She participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy of Addis Ababa.
Alice S. YOUSEF (poet, translator; Palestinian Territories) publishes poetry on her blog “Blooms in Indigo,” writing on the Middle East, the Palestinian experience, and the emotions of daily life. She has also published short stories and translations. She has a MA in Writing from the University of Warwick (UK). She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
ZHOU Jianing 周嘉宁 (fiction writer, translator; China) has published seven novels and two short story collections, as well as Chinese translations of major English-language writers such as Flannery O’Connor and Joyce Carol Oates. Her most recent novel, [In the Woods], was published in 2014. Her participation is made possible by the Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.