Abdullah AL WESALI (fiction writer; Saudi Arabia) is the author of short story collections [The Glow of Dusty Times] (2003) and [Gametes] (2010), and the novel [One Foot of Thickness] (2009), presently banned in his home country. Al Wesali is the coordinator of the Dammam Cultural Forum of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture & Arts, and writes a weekly column on social issues for the daily Alyaum. His most recent novel [Predestinations of the Township] was published earlier this year. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate in Dhahran.
Binayak BANERJEE (fiction writer, poet, playwright; India) is the author of the novels [A Year with Sohagini] (2008), [The Winner] (2009), and [Star Harbor] (2011), the poem collections [You My Life, You Alien] (2008), and [One Hundred Love Poems] (2013), and, in 2013, the play [Rabindranath Public Limited] (2013). He writes for Bengali literary magazines, is engaged with the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India, and teaches English at the Sri Ram Roy School and the Syamaprasad College in Kolkata. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Bernice CHAULY (poet, nonfiction and fiction writer, playwright, filmmaker; Malaysia) is the author of the poetry collections going there and coming back (1997), The Book of Sins (2008), and Onkalo (2013), the short-fiction book Lost in KL (2008) and the memoir Growing Up With Ghosts (2011), winner of the 2012 Reader's Choice Awards for non-fiction. Her award-winning films have screened at international film festivals. Chauly is a co-founder of Rhino Press and of Malaysia’s longest-running literary platform Readings, and the curator of the George Town Literary Festival; she teaches creative writing at Taylor’s University. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
CHEN Li (陳黎, poet, essayist, translator; Taiwan) is the author of 14 books of poetry, among them [Animal Lullaby] (1980), [Love Song of Buffet the Clown] (1990), [Lightly/Slowly] (2009), [Me/City] (2011), [Evil/Exorcized] (2012), [Dynasty/Saint] (2013), and [Island/Country] (2014). Together with his wife, translator Chang Fen-ling, he has published some 20 volumes of poetry in translation, including that of Plath, Larkin, Heaney, Neruda, Paz, and Szymborska. He is the recipient of the National Award for Literature and Arts, the China Times Literary Award, and the Taiwan Literature Award. Chen Li has taught creative writing at National Dong Hwa University and is the organizer of the Pacific Poetry Festival. His participation is made possible by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.
CHI Li / 池莉 (fiction writer; China) is regarded as the leader of the “New Realism” trend in contemporary Chinese literature. Her many novels include Zi mò hóngchén [Purple Street, Red Dust] (1995), Yī dōng wú xue [A Winter without Snow] (1995), Zhēnshí de rìzi [Days of Realness] (1995), Wuyè qi wu [Midnight Dance] (1998), Xìyāo [Skinny Waist] (1999), and Lì [Grown Up] (2013). Several titles became popular TV serials and films, among them the award-winning Life Show (2002). Her participation was made possible by The Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.
Auguste CORTEAU (fiction writer, playwright, translator; Greece) is the author of fourteen novels, among them [Shameless Suicides] (2005), [The Obliteration of Nikos] (2008), [Sixteen] (2010), and [The Book of Katherine] (2013), and the short story collection [The Man Who Ate Too Much] (2012). He also won the 2004 Greek National Book Award for Children’s Literature and the IBBY Prize for Best Children’s Novel. Corteau has translated over 30 titles, including the work of Apollinaire, Faulkner, Salinger, Proulx, Updike and Banville. He writes primarily in English, teaches creative writing, and is a self-taught pianist. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Athens.
Cynthia EDUL (playwright, fiction writer; Argentina). Edul’s plays Miami, Bonsai Family, The Tour, and A dónde van los corazones rotos have all been produced for the stage; her novel La sucesión [The Succession] appeared in 2012. Edul is the founder and artistic director of the International Platform of Performing Arts Panorama Sur, and the president of Asociación para el Teatro Latinoamericano; she teaches literature at the Universidad de San Andrés. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Ali Cobby ECKERMANN (poet; Australia) is the author of six books, including the poetry collections Little Bit Long Time (2009), Kami (2010), Love Dreaming and Other Poems (2011), and Ruby Moonlight (2011), the verse novel His Father’s Eyes (2011) and a poetic memoir, Too Afraid to Cry (2013). Her awards include the Australia Poetry Centre’s 2008 New Poets Award and the 2013 Book of the Year for Ruby Moonlight. She co-edited Southerly Journal’s 2012 Aboriginal issue titled A Handful of Sand. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
EUN Heekyung (fiction writer; South Korea) is the author of thirteen books of fiction, including the short story collections [To Try Talking with a Stranger] (1996), [Inheritance] (2002), [Beauty Looks Down on Me] (2007), [Like No Other] (2014); the novels [Save the Last Dance for Me] (1998), [Secrets and Lies] (2005), [Let Boys Cry] (2010), and [Gesture Life] (2012); and more. Her work has been translated into seven languages and won numerous awards, including the inaugural Munhakdongne Novel Award for her 1995 novel [Gift From a Bird]. She participates courtesy of the Arts Council Korea.
Boaz GAON (playwright, fiction writer; Israel) has had six plays produced for the stage, Danziger, Boged, Argentina, The Return to Haifa, Prime Time, and Dress Rehearsal. He is also the author of the novel [Gymax’s Yellow Bus] (1995), and of the TV series [The Prosecutor] and [Prisoner Milo]. Gaon teaches dramatic writing at Minshar College of Arts, oversees drama developments for HSCC TV, and chairs the Gaon Center for the Study of Ladino Culture at Ben Gurion University. He has long been involved in Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations and initiatives. He participates courtesy of the United States-Israel Education Foundation.
Kinana ISSA (fiction writer, playwright; Syria) is the author of Windows, a collection of six short stories that have been adapted for a multimedia theatrical play, of a script for the interactive sound installation Gardens Speak and of scripts for five films. She has worked as a translator, organized filmmaking workshops and screening events; and as a freelance journalist for AP and Al Jazeera Children; currently she is an editor at The Syria Campaign. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Mamle KABU (fiction writer; Ghana) is the author of the young adult novel The Kaya-Girl (2012), and is currently working on her first novel. Her stories, which include “The End of Skill” (shortlisted for the 2009 Caine Prize), "Human Mathematics” and "Story of Faith" have been anthologized across Africa, the U.S. and the UK. She is the associate director of the Writers Project of Ghana. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Daren KAMALI (poet, performer; New Zealand) began performing as a musician and street poet, later putting out the albums Immigrant Story and Keep It Real. He is the author of poetry collections Poems and Songs from the Underwater World (2011) and Squid Out of Water (2014), two parts of the trilogy Squidluminaries, forthcoming in 2015. He has facilitated writing workshops and poetry slams, and worked as a music director and youth mentor. A co-founder of the South Auckland Poets Collective, he participates courtesy of Creative New Zealand.
Laurynas KATKUS (poet, fiction writer, translator, essayist; Lithuania) is the author of the novel Judantys šešėliai [Moving Shadows] (2012), the essay collection Sklepas [The Basement] (2011), and the poetry collections Balsai, Rašteliai [Voices, Notes] (1998), Nardymo pamokos [Diving Lessons] (2003) and Už septynių gatvių [Behind 7 Streets] (2009). His writing has been widely translated, appearing New European Poets: an Anthology, Absinthe, The Drunken Boat and elsewhere; he translates from the English, German and Spanish. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Gerður KRISTNÝ (fiction writer, poet; Iceland) is the author of five poetry collections, two novels, nine books for children, a travelogue and one biography. Widely awarded, her work has been translated into 21 languages. In 2011 the musical [The Ball at Bessastadir], based on her fiction, was staged at Iceland’s National Theatre. Kristný has worked in broadcasting, and is the former editor-in-chief of a literary monthly. Her participation is made possible by The Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.
Mujib MEHRDAD (poet, playwright, translator; Afghanistan) is the author of the poetry collections [Gladiators Are Still Dying] (2007; winner of the Afghan Civil Society’s literature contest), [The Fishes Have Fled Our Veins] (2008), and [Audience] (2009), and of the collection of essays [The Rain Passed]. He has translated Ginsberg, Plath, Langston Hughes, Mayakovsky, Tagore, and others, into Dari. He is a board member of the literary organization Kashane Nawesendagan [House of Authors] and teaches Persian literature at Albironi University in Kapisa. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Sadek MOHAMMED (poet, translator, scholar; Iraq) is the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq (2008), which received a 2009 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award. His literary work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading and elsewhere; he also has a scholarly volume on translation practice and theory. He has translated Maya Angelou’s poetry into Arabic and the collection Ishtar's Songs: Iraqi Poetry since the 1970s into English. Mohammed is the Dean of the College of Arts at the University of Imam Jaafar Al-Sadiq in Baghdad. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Sabata-mpho MOKAE (poet, nonfiction and fiction writer; South Africa) is the author of the poetry collection Escaping Trauma (2012) and the biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje (2010). His debut novel in Setswana, Ga Ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] (2012) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award; the youth novella Dikeledi [Tears] was launched in 2014. In 2011 he also won the South African Literary Award in the literary journalism category. He is a columnist and a journalist, and a co-founder of the annual Sol Plaatje Literary Festival. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town.
MYAY HMONE LWIN (poet, fiction writer, translator; Burma/Myanmar) is the author of the poetry collection Se ma lar [Wanna Ride?] (2010), the short story collection Yangon tayeiksanyone mha pyan yaggaun lootnay [An Otter Sneaked Out From the Yangon Zoo] (2014), and the novels Nhit phie da pine [One By Two 1/2] (2011), Khu (2011), A yate ta kyi kyi [Watch Out Your Shadow] (2012) and Kyat sar ko khae pyat nhit pyat ywae ma ya [What Has Been Written on the Stone Can’t Be Erased by an Eraser] (2013). He owns a publishing house and printing press, and is on the Board of Directors of PEN Myanmar. His participation is privately funded.
Omar PÉREZ (poet, essayist, translator; Cuba) won Cuba’s National Critics’ Prize for the collection of essays La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro (2000), and the 2010 Nicolás Guillén Award for Poetry for Crítica de la razón puta. His other books of poetry include Algo de lo sagrado (1996), ¿Oíste hablar del gato de pelea? (1999), Canciones y letanías (2002) and Lingua Franca (2009), with two of them appearing as bilingual editions (Something of the Sacred and Did You Hear About the Fighting Cat?). His recent work moves across media, especially music and collage. He has been an editor at Letras Cubanas, and translates contemporary literature from Italy, Africa, UK and U.S. He participates courtesy of the William B. Quarton fund through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Andra ROTARU (poet, journalist; Romania) is a cultural journalist and literary activist. Her 2005 debut collection Într-un pat sub cearșaful alb [In a Bed Under the White Sheets] garnered four national awards; it was followed by the poetry volumes Ținuturile sudului [Southern Lands] (2010) and Lemur (2013), the latter turned into a collaborative dance/video performance presented in the U.S. and across Europe. Her work has been widely translated and anthologized. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Sabah SANHOURI (fiction writer; Sudan) is a freelance journalist. Her story "The Isolation" won the El-Tayeb Saleh competition for Youth Short Story Writers and has been made into a short film; it was published by Words Without Borders, and appeared in French and Arabic translations. A story collection, [Mirrors], came out in Egypt and Sudan earlier this year. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S Department of State.
Enrique SERRANO (fiction writer; Colombia) is the author of the books La marca de España (1997), De parte de Dios (1999), Tamerlán (2003), Donde no te conozcan (2007), El hombre de diamante (2008), A passage to India....from Colombia (2009), and La diosa mortal (2014). He has worked for Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is an emeritus professor of International Relations and Political Sciences at Del Rosario University in Bogotá. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Ahmed SHAFIE (poet, fiction writer, translator; Egypt) is the author of the poetry collection [and Other Poems] (2009) and the novel [The Creator] (2013). He has translated Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and an anthology of Afro-American poems into Arabic. Shafie writes for the poetry translation blog ‘Aswast men Honak’ [Distant Voices], and blogs at ‘Qera’at Ahmed Shafie,’ [Readings of Ahmed Shafie]. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
TANG Siu Wa 鄧小樺(poet, essayist; Hong Kong) is the author of two poetry collections [A Bottle Unmoved and The Opposite of Sounds], two volumes of prose writing [A Motley of Banalities and Just Like Nothing Happens], and a collection of interviews [Asking Directions from the People]; she is the editor of the collections [Wait and See: Collected Works of Six New Hong Kong Writers], [The Tomb of Film] and [The Same Darkness Befalls Dawn: Hong Kong June Fourth Poetry]. Tang Siu-wa is a founding editor of the literary magazine Fleurs des lettres and a co-founder of the House of Hong Kong Literature; a literary organizer and human rights activist, she teaches creative writing at various Hong Kong institutions, and contributes columns and criticism to a variety of local media. She participates courtesy of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.
Natasha TINIACOS (poet; Venezuela) is the author of the poetry collections Historia privada de un etcétera [Private Story of an Et Cetera] (2011/2015) and the award-winning Mujer a fuego lento [Woman at Low Heat] (2006). Her work appears in Venezuelan and Spanish journals and magazines; she translates poetry for the site The Verbatim Project and is the editor in chief of BACKROOMCaracas, a platform for contemporary Venezuelan art. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Franca TREUR (fiction writer; Netherlands) won the 2010 Selexyz Debut Prize for her novel Dorsvloer vol confetti [Confetti on the Threshing Floor], which will be released as a feature-length film this fall. Her second novel, De woongroep [The Roommates], came out in early 2014. She contributes stories, columns and essays to NRC Handelsblad, Volkskrant, Groene Amsterdammer, radio 1 VPRO Nooit meer slapen and Vogue. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Anja UTLER (poet, translator; Germany) is the author of the poetry collections jana, vermacht (2009), brinnen (2006), münden – entzüngeln (2004), aufsagen (1999), and of the poetological essay plötzlicher mohn (2007). Her latest book, ausgeübt. Eine Kurskorrektur, is a poetic exploration of prose. Translated into a dozen languages, her poems and essays circulate widely. An English translation of Utler’s poetry collection, engulf – enkindle, was a finalist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Award. She participates courtesy of the Max Kade Foundation.
YEOW Kai Chai (poet, fiction writer; Singapore) is the author of poetry collections Secret Manta (2001) and Pretend I’m Not Here (2006). His poems and stories have been widely published and anthologized. He is an editor at the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and has been an editor and music critic for The Straits Times. His third poetry collection, One to the Dark Tower Comes, is forthcoming. He participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council.