2008 Resident Participants


Laila AL-ATRASH has published five novels (A Woman of Five Seasons is available in English from Interlink Books), and one short story collection. An TV producer and news editor, she has won numerous awards for her documentaries about prominent figures in Arabic letters. She writes a regular column for the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour and comments on literary topics for Amman Magazine, where she also serves on the editorial board. Al-Atrash holds degrees in Law and Arabic Literature and is a member of the High Council and Executive Committee of the Jordanian Ministry of Culture, in charge of the Family Library Program. Currently, she serves as the President of PEN Jordan. She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Maryam ALA AMJADI is a leading young Iranian poet. She has worked as a Persian-to-English news interpreter at the Iranian Students News Agency in Tehran. Her collection of poetry, Me, I, and Myself was published in English and Persian in 2003, and more poems can be found in the Tehran Times Daily and the web magazine, Thanal. Awarded the silver medal in the 14th National Persian Literary Olympiad (2001), she is currently working towards her Masters Degree in English Literature at the University of Pune, India. She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Haifa BITAR is the author of eight novels, including [‘A Woman of this Modern Age’] and eleven short story collections, including [‘Dusk and Writing’]. She is a regular contributor of literary reviews to numerous Arabic-language newspapers, appears as a guest on Arabic cultural television programs. Among her awards is the Abu Al-Qasem Al-Shabi Prize, awarded in Tunisia for her collection [‘The Whore’] in 2003. Bitar is also a practicing ophthalmologist at the National Hospital in Latakia. She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Tarek ELTAYEB was born in Cairo to Sudanese parents and educated in Austria. He has published five collections of poems, most recently Bacd Az-Zann [‘Certain Suspicions’] (2007), two novels Bayt An-Nakhil [‘The Palm House’] (2006), and Mudun Bila Nakhil [‘Cities Without Palms’] (1992), two short story collections, and a play El-Asanser [‘The Elevator’], (1992). His writings have been translated into several languages, including English. His awards include the Elias Cannetti Fellowship from the City of Vienna and three Major Project Fellowships for Literature. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Brian FALKNER began his career in journalism and advertising, winning several national and international awards for his copywriting. He published his first junior fiction novel, Henry and the Flea, in 2003, with the debut nominated for the Esther Glen Medal and listed as a notable book by the Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand (2004). Since then, Falkner has published two more novels in the youth genre: The Real Thing (2004) and The Super Freak (2005). He lives in New Zealand, where he is an advocate for children’s literacy. His latest novel is called The Tomorrow Code. He participates courtesy of Creative New Zealand.


Carlos GAMERRO, a prose writer and literary scholar, has authored four novels, most recently La aventura de los bustos de Eva (2004), two collections of short stories, including El libro de los afectos raros (2005), and has had a film script produced. In addition, Gamerro has translated Shakespeare, Auden, and Harold Bloom. His script, Tres de corazones [‘Three of Hearts’], was produced in 2007 as a feature film directed by Sergio Renán. A professor and literary critic, Gamerro has taught seminars on Joyce and Borges at the Buenos Aires Latin American Art Museum (MALBA). He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Yael GLOBERMAN is the author of the novel Menanea et ha-ets [‘Shaking the Tree’] (1996), and two poetry collections. Her debut poetry volume, [‘Alibi’], received the ACUM Award for Poetry (2000) and the 2002 PAIS Award; the collection [‘Same River Twice’] came out in 2007, with excerpts appearing in VQR (Summer 2008). She is the editor and translator of A Soul’s History: Selected Poems by Stephen Spender (2007); her translations of Ann Sexton are forthcoming in 2009, and a W.H. Auden volume is due in 2010. Globerman has co-written film scripts and a play; she teaches creative writing at Oranim College, is on the board of the Helicon Society for the Advancement of Poetry, and is an editor of the society’s poetry magazine. She attends courtesy of the United States-Israel Education Foundation (USIEF) and the Fulbright Commision for Israel.


Dina GUDYM has worked in television and film in Almaty, and now is a creative director for an advertising agency. She has worked and written for the Kazakhstan editions of both Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar magazines. Her novel, Colon With a Bracket, was long-listed for the Russian Debut Prize, 2007. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Leonardo HENRÍQUEZ has written and/or directed four films, including Sangrador (2000), a drama loosely based on Shakespeare’s MacBeth, which was Venezuela’s 2003 nomination for an Academy Award for Foreign Language Film. His most recent directorial project, El Infierno Perfecto, will be released by Post Meridian Cinema in June 2008. Consalvi co-founded the Film School at the University of the Andes in Mérida, where he currently teaches screenwriting and directing, as well as the Annual Venezuela Film Festival. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

HU Xudong

HU Xudong (胡续冬) Hu’s most recent collection, [‘The Strength of the Calendar’] was released in 2007, as was a volume of essays, [‘The Hidden Passion in Brazil’].  He recently was named among the “Top Ten New Poets” of China; among his other awards are the Rougang Poetry Award (2003) and the Liu Li’an Poetry Award (1998).  Based in Beijing, he has been published in journals and anthologies throughout the U.S., Japan, China, and Spain.  Currently he is Associate Professor at the Institute of World Literature at Peking University, Beijing.  He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

KIM Gyeongmee began her literary career by winning the first prize for poetry from JoongAng Daily Newspaper. She has published three books of poems: Can't I Continue Writing the Suspended Letter Again (1989), For the Selfish Sorrows (1995), and Shh, My concubine is (2001), as well as two books of photo essays, The Sea Comes to Me (2004), and The Lastborn (2006). She won the Nojak Literary Award in 2005 and the Best Radio Writer Award from the Korean TV & Radio Writers Association in 2007. Currently, she is working for KBS as a writer while pursuing a master's degree in Korean literature at Korea University.


Maya KUCHERSKAYA has published two short story collections, most recently the 2004 bestseller [‘Modern Patericon: To Be Read in Times of Despair,’], one novel ([‘Rain God,’] 2007), a biography of Grand Duke Constantine Romanov, and a children’s adaptation of the New Testament.  She holds a PhD in Literature from UCLA, and is a professor in the Department of Russian Literature at the Russian School of Economics. Her awards include the 2007 Student Booker Prize and the 2006 Molodaya Gvardia Award.  She contributes a column to the daily Vedomosti and cultural commentaries on radio broadcasts.  She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Agnes S. L. LAM

Agnes S. L. LAM (林舜玲) has published two collections of poetry ([’Woman to Woman and Other Poems,’ 1997] and [’Water Wood Pure Splendor,’ 2001]) and two scholarly books (including Language Education in China: Policy and Experience from 1949, 2005). Her other publications include several short stories, scholarly monographs, and other creative and critical works. She has received grants from the governments of Hong Kong and Singapore, and from the Fulbright Foundation and the British Council. An associate professor at the Centre for Applied English Studies at the University of Hong Kong, which sponsors her participation, Lam is currently researching Asian poetry in English, with support funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council.

LEE Jang Wook

LEE Jang Wook has authored two poetry collections, [‘A Sand Mountain In My Dream’] (2002), and [‘Hopeful Song at Noon’] (2006).  He has also written two books of essays on poetry and a novel, [‘Joyful Devils of Callot’] (2005).  He lives in Seoul, where he edits the South Korean quarterly, Changbi.  He participates courtesy of the Korea Literature Translation Institute (KLTI).


Nikola MADZIROV is the author of five collections of poetry, including [‘Relocated Stone’] (2007), which won both the Hubert Burda Poetry Award and the Miladinov Brothers Award in 2007. Madzirov’s work has been translated into dozens of languages, including English. He has participated in writing residencies in Vienna, Graz, and Krems. Among is editing projects are Babylonia, a multilingual literature project, and BLESOK; he is among the coordinators of Lyrikline. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Kristof MAGNUSSON writes for theatre, including the comedies Männerhort [‘Male Creche’] (2001) and Der totale Kick (2000). Männerhort has been widely staged in Germany and translated into Swedish, Turkish, French, Bulgarian and Estonian. He has also coordinated theatre projects with homeless people in Berlin and with Holocaust survivors in New York City. Magnusson’s novel, Zuhause [‘At Home’] (2005), won the 2006 Rauriser Literaturpreis in Austria, and is available in French and Marati translations. He has translated Stormur (‘Storm’), a novel by Icelandic author Einar Kárason, into German, and has held writing residencies in Germany, Switzerland, and India. He participates courtesy of the Max Kade Foundation.


Gutierrez MANGANSAKAN II has written for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, Philippine Star, Manila Standard, Manila Bulletin, and Malaya, and provides the column "This Blessed House," for a Mindanao-based news service. His first film, House under the Crescent Moon, won Best Documentary at the 15th Cultural Center of the Philippines Prize for Independent Film and Video in 2001; his other films have been screened at international film festivals to wide acclaim. He is editor of Children of the Ever-Changing Moon, an anthology of essays by young Moro writers (Anvil, 2007). His poems, essays and short stories have appeared in ANI 33, Banaag Diwa, and Dagmay. He participates courtesy of the US Embassy in Manila.


Niq MHLONGO has published two novels, Dog Eat Dog (2004) and After Tears (2007). His short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies in South Africa and Europe, he is a prolific writer of screenplays for film and television; in 2007 Dog Eat Dog was broadcast as a radio drama on BBC Radio and Bush Radio. A speaker of several languages, including Afrikaans, Xitsonga, Setswana, Swazi, and English, Mhlongo has presented his work at key African cultural venues, including the Caine Prize Workshop and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State. (photo: Lisa Skinner)


Glaydah NAMUKASA is an emerging fiction writer with one novel (The Deadly Ambition, 2006), a young adult novel (The Voice of a Dream, 2006-winner of Macmillan literary prize for Africa), and several short stories to her credit. She has participated in the Caine Prize Workshop in Kenya, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont (USA), and the British Council Crossing Borders programme. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Uganda, South Africa, Sweden, and the UK. She divides her time between writing and a career in midwifery/nursing in Uganda. She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Alina NELEGA has authored over 15 plays, most recently TAXI/ VINYL; she runs playwriting workshops, translates and directs new writing. A participant in cultural exchanges in Ireland, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and at the New York Fringe Festival, she has been a beneficiary of international residencies at the Royal Court Theatre and The Bush Theatre (London). Her awards include “Play of the Year 2000,” and “The European Author Award” at the New Plays Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, in 2007, and a shortlist as “best playwright” by the Romanian Writers’ Union, for Kamikaze. She lives in Tirgu Mures, and attends courtesy of the Romanian Cultural Institute and independent sources.

John Nkemngong NKENGASONG

John Nkemngong NKENGASONG is a prolific writer and literary critic whose work ranges across genres and disciplines. He has published two novels (most recently The Widow's Might (2006), and Across the Mongolo, 2004), one play (Black Caps and Red Feathers, 2001), and his poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout Africa and the United States. He has staged four of his unpublished plays (most recently A Madding Generation, 2005) in the cities of Kumba and Yaoundé. Nkengasong has held weekly columns in the Cameroon Post and The Post newspapers and has penned dozens of scholarly articles on topics in African, American, and British literature. His critical volume, W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot: Myths and the Poetics of Modernism, was published by Presses Universitaires Yaounde in 2005. He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Anat PICK began her career as a pianist, eventually branching out to develop a repertoire of innovative language-oriented performance, one elaborating from the base of a phonetic mixture of eastern and western languages. For the past decade, Pick has given concerts across Israel, the Far East, and Europe. Her many collaborations with other artists and musicians have involved a variety of forms, including spoken word and free-improvisation.She maintains an intense interest in the performance of Dada sound poetry. Pick lives in Tel Aviv and participates courtesy of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the University of Iowa Louis Schulman Hillel.


Ruby RAHMAN has published three collections, most recently Kan Pete Achi, Moumachi [‘I am Eager to Listen to You, O Bee’], 2006.  Her work has been anthologized in Bangladesh and India, and published in U.S journals.  From 1970 to 2004, she taught English at the University of Dhaka. Rahman serves on the editorial board of Kali O Kalam, a Bengali monthly literary journal, and on the Jury Board of the Prothom Alo newspaper.  Her awards include the Ananya Literary Award for Poetry in 2004.  She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State. 

Veronica RAIMO

Veronica RAIMO debuted with her novel, Il dolore secondo Matteo [‘Pain According to Matteo’], released by Minimum Fax in 2007; her short stories have meanwhile appeared in journals and anthologies throughout Italy.  A second novel is in preparation, under contract with Rizzoli Publishers.  In addition, Raimo contributes regularly to Italian magazines such as Rolling Stones and Liberazione.  She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


Rogelio SAUNDERS began his career in Cuba as part of “Diáspora(s)”, a group of alternative writers. His first publication was the story “Coronación” [‘Coronation’] in Letras Cubanas (1988). Since then, Saunders has gone on to publish poetry and short stories in Cuba and abroad, holding residencies in Austria, Germany, and Spain. His most recent publications include a volume of short stories, La cinta sin fin (2002) and the poetry collection Fábula de ínsulas no escritas (2006). In 1999 Saunders re-located to Spain. He participates courtesy of the William B. Quarton Foundation.


Jianni SKARAGAS has published four novels, including [’Epiphania’], which recently appeared in French translation. An established screenwriter, Skaragas has spent the past decade writing for Greek television and radio; and his short stories, essays, and other writings appear regularly in literary journals and newspapers throughout the Hellenic world and Europe. The Greek Cultural Center of New York has chosen the theatre adaptation of his English novel [Prime Numbers] to celebrate its 30 years anniversary in an American premiere February 2009. He participates courtesy of the Fulbright Foundation of Greece.

Madeleine THIEN

Madeleine THIEN is the Canadian-born daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants. Her first book, the short story collection Simple Recipes, was named a 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize notable book, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and garnered her the Canadian Author’s Association/Air Canada Award for the most promising writer under the age of 30. She has also published one children’s book, The Chinese Violin. Her first novel, Certainty (2006), won the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize. She participates courtesy of the Quebec Arts Council and other sources.


Yorgos TRILLIDIS (fiction writer, Cyprus) has authored two short story collections: Αγκυστρωμένοι στα Φυστικοαμάξια μας [‘Hooked on those Ground-nut Cars of Ours’] (1998), which won the Young Writer’s State Prize from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus; and Τελετή Λήξης [‘Closing Ceremony’] (2000), the runner-up for Short Stories Prize from the same institution. Some of his stories have been adapted for short films, and his work appears regularly, especially the Phileleftheros newspaper. A member of the Nicosia Bar Association, Trillidis is a practicing lawyer.  He participates courtesy of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus. 

Uchechukwu Peter UMEZURIKE

Uchechukwu Peter UMEZURIKE is the author of the children’s novel Sam and the Wallet (2007), the collection of short stories Tears in Her Eyes (2005), and two volumes of poetry, Aridity of Feelings (2006) and Dark Through the Delta (2004), which collectively have brought him numerous national and international awards. His collection of folk tales, Tim the Monkey and Other Stories, is forthcoming later this year. At present he is working on a collection of poems centered on the despoliation the Niger Delta. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.


KYAW WIN is an active contributor to the Myanmar literary scene whose interests span a variety of cultural, economic, and political issues. His published translations include Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat and Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Making Globalization Work. In the 1980s and 90s, Kyaw Win founded and ran a private school in Monywa. After three periods of imprisonment, he moved to Yangon and became a freelance writer and editor. He has edited five magazines, most recently Khit San [‘Watershed Era’] in 2003 and [‘The Waves’] Magazine, where he is currently Chief Editor. His participation is independently funded.


Amina ZAYDAN is a literary editor for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Her first novel, [‘Fooling Around n’ Stuff Like That’], was published in 2003; her second novel, [‘Red Wine’], won the 2007 Naguib Mafouz Medal for Literature, and is now being translated into English. Her short story “It Happened Secretly” was included in the Best Mediterranean Short Stories Collection (1995). She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

2008 Visitors


Alan CHERCHESOV has published the novels Requiem for Living (1994; and, in English, Northwestern University Press, 2005), [Wreath for the Grave of the Wind, 2000], and [Villa Belle-Lettre, 2005], as well as short stories; he is currently working on his fourth novel, Don Ivan. His translation of Wambaugh’s The New Centurions appeared in 1992. Cherchesov is the president of the Institute of Civilization, a private educational institute in Vladikavkaz, in North Ossetia. The recipient of a number of literary prizes, he was a finalist for the 2001 and 2006 Russian Booker Awards. His participation is provided courtesy of the William B. Quarton Foundation.

Zoltán FEHÉR

Zoltán FEHÉR is Chief Creative Officer and Press Attaché at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, D.C. He holds an MA in Political Science and American Studies from Eotvos Lorand University, and a Law degree from Pazmany Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary. Fehér has taught Political Science and International Relations courses at Hungarian universities, and has published on comparative government, U.S. foreign policy and Transatlantic relations.


Andrey GRISHAEV was born in Leningrad in 1978. While a student of computer engineering he discovered poetry, joining the literary society “Young Petersburg, and later pursued a graduate degree in literature. His first book of poems, Bumblebee, was published in 2006; his poetry has appeared in poetry journals, including Noviy Mir; he is now working on his second volume. Leonid Kostiukov, poet and editor, writes of his work, “Grishaev’s poetic language differs dramatically from most of his contemporaries…and is very close to his favorite poet Georgii Ivanov. His poetry offers that unique blend of strength and tenderness that is intrinsic to men...” He participates courtesy of the Open World Cultural Leaders Program.


Igor KARAULOV was born in Moscow in 1966, and began writing poems at the age of four. In 1988, he graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Geography, but it was during his student years that he joined the literary workshop of the Moscow poet Olga Chugai, where he met poets like Denis Novikov and Filipp Nikolaev. He has been a journalist and is presently a translator for an international law firm. His first book of poetry, A Surge, came out in 2003, followed by Sellers of Spices in 2006. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines including Znamya, Noviy Mir, and Vozdukh. He participates courtesy of the Open World Cultural Leaders Program.

Richard KENNEY has authored four collections of poetry: The Evolution of the Flightless Bird, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 1983, Orrery (1985), The Invention of the Zero (1993), and The One-Strand River (2008). His poems have appeared in The Yale Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Verse, Poetry, The Paris Review, Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (1997), The Norton Anthology of Poetry (2005), and Best American Poetry (2007). He has received a MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award, among others. For more than twenty years, he has taught creative writing at the University of Washington, and for the past several years, he has led the U.W. creative writing seminar in Rome. He visits the UI courtesy of the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program.

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