2021 Residents

Join us online for events in October & November, 2021, here >

Our Fall 2021 writers-in-residence are in Iowa City October 1-November 30, 2021. To be in the loop, please sign up for our email list here, and follow us on IWP's Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @UIIWP for more about our incoming residents and virtual IWP events!


Imam BAKSH (storyteller, children’s book writer, teacher; Guyana) is the author of two award-winning Young Adult novels, The Dark of the Sea and Children of the Spider. His children’s stories, too, have been frequently recognized; he has been a featured presenter at literary festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. An advocate for Guyanese Creole, he runs a literacy project and library for his community and owns and operates a kindergarten. His participation is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown (Guyana).

Sarah Blau Israel

Sarah BLAU  שהרה בלאו (fiction writer, playwright; Israel) has had her short stories published in many anthologies in Israel and abroad. Among her novels are [The Book of Creation] (2007), [Those Well-Raised Girls] (2012), [Stake] (2014) and The Others (2018; English translation 2021); among her plays are [The Last One] (2004), [Thy Shall Write] (2014) and [Rhinoplasty] (2105). She is the recipient of the 2017 Bar-Ilan University Alumni Achievement Award, and of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Literature. She participates courtesy of Fulbright Israel.

Candace Chong _HK

Candace CHONG Mui Ngam 莊梅岩 (playwright, screenwriter, translator; Hong Kong) has, apart from writing drama, also collaborated in musical theatre and opera as writer and librettist. Selected by the South China Morning Post as one of Hong Kong’s 25 most inspirational and influential women, she is a six-times winner of the Hong Kong Drama Awards, the recipient of a Best Artist Award (Drama) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and of a number of international honors. Her plays have been performed on European and American stages, translated, and published. She participates courtesy of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

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Diana Del Angel

Diana DEL ÁNGEL (fiction writer, journalist, poet, scholar, activist; Mexico) is the author of Vasija [Vessel] (2013), Procesos de la noche [Processes of the night] (2017) and Barranca [Ravine] (2018), as well as of critical writing in print and digital media; she has also translated poetry from the Nahuatl. A regular participant in contemporary poetry workshops in Mexico, she has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies in Mexico, USA, and Canada. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State. 

Edwige DRO (translator, activist, writer; Côte d’Ivoire) is a co-founder of the collective Abidjan Lit and the founder of 1949, “a library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world.” She has facilitated, judged, and translated for many writing competitions, and coordinated the Francophone program of Writivism in Uganda. Her stories and essays, published in magazines like Popula, This is Africa and the Johannesburg Review of Books, have been widely anthologized. She participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire).

The recipient of a Caine Prize, a Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Literary Achievement, Helon HABILA is the author of six volumes of fiction and non-fiction, the editor of several collections of writing, and a publisher. His most recent novel is Travelers (2019). The first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, he was the inaugural Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College; his current appointment is at George Mason University, where Professor Habila teaches in the disciplines of Creative Writing, English, and Global Affairs.  An IWP 2004 alum, he returns as our 2021 Ida Beam Distinguished Visitor.

Alexandra K* (KATSAROU)  Αλεξάνδρα Κ* (fiction, drama, screenwriting, journalism; Greece) has collaborated with the National Theatre of Greece, the Greek National Opera and other major cultural institutions. Ηer 2018 play Επαναστατικές Μέθοδοι για τον Καθαρισμό της Πισίνας σας [Revolutionary Ways to Clean Your Swimming Pool] has been translated widely, and received a Eurodram 2019 Prize; her most recent play [Milk, Blood], based on Medea, premiered at the ancient theater of Epidaurus. She is a regular contributor to Greek magazines and newspapers. Her participation was made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

KIM_Hena_S Korea_cropped

KIM Hena  김혜나 (fiction writer, South Korea) studied Korean language and literature at the University of Cheong-ju. Her first novel, [Jerry], was the 2010 winner of Today’s Author Prize; the second, [Junk], was long listed for the 2013 Dong-In Prize of Literature; [The Goldstar Telephone] received the 2016 Soorim Prize of Literature. She has also published a book of essays on yoga, [What Makes Me Breathe]. She participates courtesy of Arts Council Korea.

Gabriele Labanausiaite_cropped_Lithuania

Gabrielė LABANAUSKAITĖ (poetry, drama, fiction; Lithuania) teaches drama theory and creative writing at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater. A “text producer,” she works across media, often in collective forms, also organizing poetry and stage events. She has published three poetry collections in CD/DVD format as well as a theory of drama narratives, Dramatika; a number of her plays have been staged in Lithuania and abroad. Her participation was made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Justinas Stacevicius
Ma Thida_Burma_2021

IWP '05 alumna Ma Thida is a Burmese surgeon, writer, poet, human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. Among her nine books are The Sunflower (1999), The Roadmap (2011) and the memoir Sanchaung, Insein, Harvard  (2012). Recently elected as Chair of The Writers in Prison committee of PEN International, she is the founder and past president of PEN Myanmar and past board member of PEN International; in 2016 she was the first recipient of the Václav Havel Foundation’s “Disturbing the Peace” award. At present (2021), she is a visiting research associate at Yale’s Southeast Asia Studies program.

Mae Yway_Myanmar_cropped

MAE YWAY မယ်ယွေး (poet, scriptwriter, publisher; Myanmar) has been publishing her writing in periodicals and collections since 2010. The first volume of her poetry, [Courier], appeared in 2013; [You & I] appeared in 2016. In 2017, she founded the poetry publishing house 90/91, even while working as a digital content strategist and TV writer. Her participation was made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Sanam MAHER (non-fiction writer, journalist; Pakistan) covers stories on Pakistan’s art and culture, business, politics, religious minorities, and women. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, Roads & Kingdoms, and The Times Literary Supplement, amongst others. Her first book, A Woman Like Her: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch, an investigation into the murder of Pakistan’s first social media celebrity, appeared in 2018.  She participates courtesy the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Photo credit:
Shehrezad Maher

Muthi NHLEMA (fiction; Malawi) writes speculative fiction. His novella Ta O’reva was shortlisted for Best Novella at the inaugural 2017 Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction; other work has also won his country's leading literary prize, FMB-MAWU Short Story Prize, and been long-listed for the Writivism Short Story Prize. The story "One Wit’ This Place" opened the 2016 Imagine Africa 500 anthology. His participation was made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe (Malawi).

Salha OBAID (fiction; UAE) published her first story collection, [Alzheimer],in 2010; it was followed by [Postman of Happiness] (2012) and [iPad of Life in the Manner of Zorba] (2014); the collection [An Implicitly White Lock of Hair] (2015) won the 2016 Al Owais Award for Creative Writing. Her first novel [Maybe It’s a Joke] appeared in 2018. A member of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Council and of the Association of Emirati Women Writers, in 2017 she was awarded the Young Emiratis Prize. Her participation was made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.  

Fahri OZ_Turkey_cropped

Fahri ÖZ (translator, scholar, poet; Turkey) has translated into Turkish many British and American 19th and 20th c poets, and is currently bringing into Turkish Walt Whitman’s and Emily Dickinson’s collected works. He is the co-editor of a collection of “sudden fiction,” Hayat Kısa Proust Uzun [  Life is Short, Proust is Long] (2000),  and the author of the poetry volume Meşrutiyet Çok Bulutlu On Beş Santigrat Yağmur Olasılığı Sıfır  [Meşrutiyet Street: Heavily Overcast, 15 Degrees Celsius with Zero Chance of Rain] (2019). Until 2017, when he was dismissed for signing the Academics for Peace declaration, he taught at Ankara University. His participation is sponsored by the Institute for International Education, the University of Iowa, and private gifts.

Khosiyat RUSTAMOVA (poet, journalist, editor; Uzbekistan) has since the mid-1990s published ten poetry volumes; her poetry has been translated into some 30 languages. She herself translates poetry from the Russian, the Turkish, and the Azerbaijani into Uzbek. A recipient of national awards in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, in 2018 she won the International Poetry Festival in Thailand for her poetry.  She is the editor-in-chief of the [World of the Books] magazine. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.


Dominika SŁOWIK (fiction writer; Poland) is the author of two novels, Atlas Doppelganger (2015), finalist for the 2016 Gdynia Literary Prize, and Zimowla (2019), which won the national award Paszport Polityki 2020 alongside other honors; Samosiejki, a collection of stories, appeared in 2021. She also writes reviews, and a regular literary column. Słowik's current work is dedicated to the Anthropocene and climate change. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Habib Tengour_Algeria

Habib TENGOUR (poet, essayist, playwright, translator, scholar, editor; Algeria) has published over twenty volumes of writing, most recently the poetry volume  La Sandale d'Empédocle (2021). His poetry has been translated into English, German, Italian, Arabic, and many other languages; in turn, he translates poetry from the Arabic and the English. In 2016, that work garnered him a Prix européen de poésie Dante. He also directs the series “Poèmes du monde” for the Algerian publisher APIC. His participation was made possible by the Paul and Hualing Nieh Engle Fund. 

Photo credit:
Mourad Yelles

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