• The "On Going Home" series offers a glimpse of what returning home means for authors who have spent three months in the U.S. as part of the International Writing Program's Fall Residency. This installment comes to us from Samuel Kolawole:

    On the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Abuja, two Nigerian men argued over where to put what in the overhead luggage compartment....

  • The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will offer the #Flashwrite Teen Poetry MOOC, its first open online course designed exclusively for teenage students, from March 30-May 3, 2016. Students 13-19 years old are invited to write, share, and discuss poetry with Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates and fellow teenage writers...

  • Narrative Witness: Indigenous Peoples, Australia-United States, a publication from the International Writing Program, is now available.

    The collection features work created during an online exchange that brought together 32 indigenous writers and photographers living in Australia and the United States in fall 2015. During the two-month exchange, the artists created...

  • By Laura Wang, a current student at the University of Iowa, originally published on laurayingwang.wordpress.comThe Shambaugh House in Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. It was originally the home of Professor Benjamin F. Shambaugh. After passing away in 1940, he gave his home to the University of Iowa, and the Honors Program moved in....

  • By Alyssa Cokinis, Between the Lines ICRU Fellow

    Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience (BTL) is the International Writing Program’s creative writing and cultural exchange program for teenage writers between the ages of 16 and 19. This summer, two sessions will convene in Iowa City, IA for BTL’s ninth year: Russian/Arabic, which will bring together 32 students from...

  • Written by Karen Villeda, 2015 Fall Residency Outreach Fellow, in November, 2015

    “He always thought of the sea, as ”la mar,” which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had... more
  • The "On Going Home" series offers a glimpse of what returning home means for authors who have spent three months in the U.S. as part of the International Writing Program's Fall Residency. This installment comes to us from Rochelle Potkar:

    Iowa is affixed in my mind as this cool place of beauty, sprawling gold fields, the rippling river blue, the talcum sky above, the bridges...

  • On Thursday January 14th, 2016, IWP joined dozens of literary organizations and hundreds of writers in a Worldwide Reading event, coordinated by the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin to draw attention to the dire situation of the Palestinian-born poet and curator Ashraf Fayadh.  A long-time resident of Saudi-Arabia, Fayadh was arrested in 2014 for “spreading blasphemous ideas among...

  • The "On Going Home" series offers a glimpse of what returning home means for authors who have spent three months in the U.S. as part of the International Writing Program's Fall Residency. This week's installment comes to us from Raed Anis Al-Jishi:

    I lived in Iowa for more than 12 weeks. It felt like home—a dream home for a writer.

    Libraries with enormous resources. An...

  • By Karen Villeda, 2015 Fall Residency Outreach Fellow

    In the course of the fall 2015 semester, in my role as the International Writing Program’s Outreach Fellow, I developed a web-based project, titled INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM: WRITING LIVES!

    First off, the site is a documentary combining text with multimedia (images, videos) generated by some of the IWP 2015...


Face to Face: IWP writers help empower young Iowans

What does your name mean? Where does it come from? If you could invent your own paradise, what would it look like? These were just some of the questions young writers were busy imagining answers to with the help of IWP writers Matias Correa (Chile), TJ Dema (Botswana), Nay Phone Latt (Burma), Gulala Nouri (Iraq), and Pandora (Burma) two Saturdays ago. The writers had made the trip across the state to the small northwestern Iowa town of Spirit Lake, near the border with Minnesota, to participate in a session of a new program called Face to Face. The International Writing Program and the Iowa Youth Writing Project have paired up to launch the program, which is bringing young people ages 12-18 together for free Saturday creative writing workshops at locations across Iowa throughout September and October.

“Face to Face is a simple but effective concept,” IWP writer Dema said. “Writers, most with teaching experience, get together with a room full of teenagers who love stories—as all children do—and who have the potential to become writers.” Face to Face is designed to reach out to a diverse population, including minority and rural youth around the state who might not normally have the opportunity to interact with people outside their home communities, bringing them into conversation with the international writers in residence at the IWP this fall.

“Our goal is to engage Iowa’s underserved youth with targeted creative writing workshop sessions in places where literature and writing can provide an inimitable bridge,” Iowa Youth Writing Project Coordinator Dora Malech said. Interacting with international writers is an important and powerful opportunity for young Iowans to broaden their horizons and gain a greater understanding of the world at a time when they are being empowered to find their own voices and encouraged to think, write, and share their own unique perspectives in a creative way.

The enthusiastic group of students at Spirit Lake spent four hours brainstorming, writing, and even illustrating stories with the help of IWP writers and Iowa Youth Writing Project volunteers, including students and recent graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. At the end of the day’s session, the young Face to Face participants got a chance to practice reading their work aloud to an audience with a little help and guidance from performance poet Dema.

“The Spirit Lake/Okoboji workshop reminded me just how important it is to create a space where children can learn to give themselves permission to make up their own stories, poems, and drawings,” Dema reflected afterwards. “Our role really was to listen and then say to each child, 'here are a few ideas you might want to explore or this is how you might go about preparing to perform or read your work out loud.'”

The Face to Face program kicked off a few weeks ago with a workshop in Des Moines, the state capital. Genevieve L. Asenjo (Philippines), Alina Dadaeva (Uzbekistan), Pandora (Burma), and Barlen Pyamootoo (Mauritius) participated in that event, hosted by Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa and Nisaa African Women's Project.  This Friday, IWP writers depart for Upper Iowa University for a Face to Face workshop that will bring students together from areas around Fayette, in the northeastern corner of the state. After another session in Ottumwa (southeast Iowa), young people who participated in Face to Face workshops all over the state will convene in Iowa City on October 27th for a day of workshops and special events.

Face to Face is funded by a grant from the University of Iowa Provost Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The project is just one of the many ways IWP writers interact with the local community in Iowa City and beyond. For more on these interactions, visit our Facebook page, where you can also see photos of a recent day of readings, Q&A, and workshops with students from Des Moines Central Academy, when they visited IWP writers at Shambaugh House earlier this week.

They're Back!

After parting ways early last week for the mid-residency travel period, which took one group of writers to New Orleans and another to San Francisco, the writers reconvened in Iowa City late Friday evening.  They needed a day to recover from the whirlwind tours which included readings, events centered around the rich literary and cultural traditions of these two great American cities, and, in the case of New Orleans, writers handling (and, in at least one instance, kissing) baby alligators. The writers could be found reading, writing, and enjoying a cup of coffee in the cafes of downtown Iowa City this weekend as they prepared for a packed schedule of upcoming literary events.

Join them as they hit the ground running on Monday, October 1st, with TJ Dema (Botswana) reading with Strange Cage at the historic Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City, 8pm-9pm. Entrance is free.

Then Tuesday, catch the latest installment of IWP Cinemathèque with Mohib Zegham (Afghanistan) presenting the 2003 film Osama, about a girl living in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime who disguises herself as a boy to support her family, the first film to be shot entirely in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. E105 Adler Journalism Building, 7:30pm.

On Friday, join us for pizza at the Iowa City Public Library panel: “Writing in a Landscape” with Choi Myoung Sook (South Korea), Hae Yisoo (South Korea), and Andrei Khadanovich (Belarus). Geoff Dyer will moderate, Meeting Room A, noon-1pm.

After the panel, head over to Shambaugh House for a reading with Matias Correa (Chile) and Yaghoub Yadali (Iran). As always, light refreshments will be served, 5-6pm.

Finish off the week with us on Sunday, with Gulala Nouri (Iraq) and Rodrigo Lopes (Brazil), in his first public event of the residency, reading with Writers’ Workshop student Don Waters at Prairie Lights, 4-5pm. If you’re not in Iowa City, you can always stream it live.

For more IWP news (including photos of weekly panels, readings, and other events), visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Global Express: staged readings breathe life into works by IWP writers

On Sunday evening, writers, community members, and University of Iowa students gathered to see the works of nine current IWP residents performed by actors in the 12th annual edition of Global Express, a program of staged readings of works by IWP writers.

The evening’s entertainment, held in a large black-box theatre in the UI Theatre Building, featured works by Taleb Al Refai (Kuwait), Luis Bravo (Uruguay), TJ Dema (Botswana),  Dimitris Lyacos (Greece/Italy), Christopher Mlalazi (Zimbabwe), Choi Myung Sook (South Korea), Gulala Nouri (Iraq),  Pandora (Burma), and Bilal Tanweer (Pakistan),  directed by Saffron Henke with dramaturgy by Maggie Conroy.

Waiting in the lobby to meet with the actors after the performance, poet Pandora joked that after seeing her poem, “The Scene of the City Siege by the Daft,” so dramatically delivered it would be difficult for her to read it to an audience again herself. “The bar is set so high now,” she said.

The nine staged works, which included excerpts of plays, poems, and fiction as well as multimedia work, varied from the tragic to the comic. In Christopher Mlalazi’s play, “Election Day,” an exuberant president harangues an underling in a bid to justify overriding the results of a national vote—an amusing exchange replete with bathroom humor even as it comments on serious issues of political process (with Zimbabwe not far from the audience’s thoughts). In Choi Myoung Sook’s “Two Daughters,” a married couple faces the surreal challenge of distinguishing their daughter from a duplicate who has appeared in their house. Given the range of tone and emotion, IWP writer and audience member Alisa Ganieva (Russia) was impressed by how cohesive the performance felt. “It seemed like one collective [whole],” she said.

All in all, Global Express was a terrific send-off as the writers head out on the mid-residency travel period, which will take groups of IWP writers to New Orleans and San Francisco this week. While away, the writers will take part in a number of cultural and literary events, including a reading at Room 220 in New Orleans at 7pm on Thursday, September 27th, which will feature IWP writers Khaled Alberry (Egypt) and Lucy Fricke (Germany); check out the event listing in the New York Times Review of Books!

The writers will be back in Iowa at the end of the week, with normal IWP events resuming on Sunday, September 30th, with a reading by Lucy Fricke (Germany),  and Stephanie Ye (Singapore), joined by poet Grant Souders (Writers’ Workshop) at Prairie Lights, 4-5pm.

For more IWP news (including photos of weekly panels, readings, and a recent barn dance), visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

A Marathon Week: Hisham Matar plus Global Express and More!

It’s a whirlwind of literary events this week. In addition to the regular schedule, we have a series of public events centered around Hisham Matar’s visit. The New York Times best-selling novelist is in Iowa City this week as the 2012 Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor.

On Thursday, September 21st, tune in at noon to hear Matar interviewed on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River. You can also catch the interview Matar gave on The Lit Show the day he arrived.

On Friday, join Jeffrey Paparoa Holman (New Zealand), Lin Chun Ying (Taiwan), Jana Beňová (Slovakia) and Chan Chi Tak (Hong Kong) for a panel on “The Currents of Migration,” Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, noon-1pm. Pizza will be served.

Then at 2pm, after the Migration panel, join Hisham Matar for an interactive discussion and Q&A session hosted by The Writing University.  Questions can be sent ahead of time to http://www.writinguniversity.org/page/submit-a-question.

Join our Facebook Event for a complete list of public events linked to Hisham Matar’s visit.

Later Friday afternoon, stop by the Shambaugh House for a reading with Andrei Khadanovich (Belarus) and Alina Dadaeva (Uzbekistan), 5-6pm. Light refreshments will be served.

On Saturday, don’t miss a special reading with Israeli playwright and IWP alumnus Motti Lerner, Shambaugh House, 2-3pm.

Join us again on Sunday, when Abdullah Thabit (Saudi Arabia) and Christopher Mlalazi (Zimbabwe) read with Writers’ Workshop student Anna Morrison at Prairie Lights, 4-5pm.

Finish the week off with some live theatre. Sunday at 7:30pm it’s Global Express, featuring staged dramatic readings of work by Pandora (Burma), Luis Bravo (Uruguay), Christopher Mlalazi (Zimbabwe), Gulala Nouri (Iraq), Bilal Tanweer (Pakistan), Choi Myoung Sook (South Korea), Taleb Al Refai (Kuwait), Dimitris Lyacos (Greece/Italy), and TJ Dema (Botswana). Join us for an evening of live entertainment as the work of these writers is brought to life by University of Iowa Theatre Arts students in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building (200 North Riverside Dr.) Global Express is the last public event before the mid-residency travel period takes the writers off to New Orleans and San Francisco.

For those of you who missed last week’s riveting panel on “Writing in a Country at War,” more than fifty people packed into the Gerber Lounge in the UI English-Philosophy Building to hear IWP writers offer their views on the writer’s role and responsibilities. Panelist Yaghoub Yadali (Iran) observed that “If Tolstoy had died in the Crimean War, War and Peace would never have been written. But if he had not fought in the war, there would have been no War and Peace to write.” Writers also grappled with the idea of exploring the dark side of human nature and the relevance of the act of writing in times of war. During the Q&A, Taleb Al Refai (Kuwait) recounted a startling encounter with two Iraqi soldiers captured by a friend during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that brought audience members to tears. Watch for the papers to be made available in the IWP archives in the future.

For updates on this week’s panel and other events, follow us on Twitter and visit us on Facebook. Hope to see you soon!

Celebrated Novelist Hisham Matar to Visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor

We are pleased to announce that beginning Tuesday, September 18th, the University of Iowa will welcome New York Times bestselling novelist Hisham Matar, this year’s Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor, to Iowa City for four days of literary events.

While at the University of Iowa, Matar will visit classes, discuss translation and international literature with residents at the International Writing Program, and meet with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from the University’s various writing programs.

The public will also have a chance to get to know Matar through a series of free events. On Wednesday, September 19, at 11:00am, Matar will give a craft talk, "Never Believe What a Writer Says," to be followed by a Q&A session in the Frank Conroy Reading Room, Dey House, 507 N. Clinton.

Wednesday evening, at 7:00pm, he will read from his latest novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, at Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque. For those of you outside Iowa City, the reading will be streamed live by The Writing University.

When a loved one “disappears,” how does that absence shape the lives of those who are left? 

Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents and raised in Tripoli and Cairo. His father, once a United Nations diplomat, was kidnapped in Cairo in 1990, managed to have two letters smuggled out of a Libyan prison in 1996, and was last seen alive in 2002.

Though certain elements of Anatomy of a Disappearance echo the author's life story, Matar emphasizes that it is a work of fiction and is not autobiographical. The novel was named one of the best books of the year by publications including The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Toronto Sun, and The Irish Times. The Washington Post hailed it as “A haunting novel, exquisitely written and psychologically rich,” and the New York Times called it “Studded with little jewels of perception.”

Matar’s debut novel, In the Country of Men, won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book award for Europe and South Asia, the 2007 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the Italian Premio Vallombrosa Gregor von Rezzori, and the inaugural Arab American Book Award, and has been translated into 22 languages. His stories, essays, and articles have been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Times and many other publications. Matar now lives in London and is an associate professor at Barnard College in New York City.

Other events open to the public include a brown bag lunch to discuss global human rights and social justice issues with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, as part of their Careers for Change lecture series, Wednesday, September 19th at 1:00pm in the POROI conference room, Bowman House, 230 N. Clinton St.

On Friday, September 21st at 2:00pm, Matar will participate in an interactive discussion and Q&A session hosted by The Writing University.  Questions can be sent ahead of time to: http://www.writinguniversity.org/page/submit-a-question

You will also be able to hear Matar interviewed on Iowa Public Radio’s program River to River and on University Radio KRUI’s The Lit Show. We are delighted to welcome Matar to Iowa City and we hope many of you will join us at the public events!

For daily updates on Hisham Matar’s visit, stop by our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

The Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program was established in 1978-79 with the income from a bequest to the University by the late Ida Cordelia Beam of Vinton.

Mark Your Calendars!

Can a poem be obedient? This is just one of the questions renowned gender historian and University of Iowa Professor Emerita Linda Kerber posed to IWP writers while moderating last Friday’s panel on “Spectral Gender.” The question arose after panelist Pandora (Burma) observed that Burmese women who comply with societal norms are likely to produce “obedient poems.” 

“Gender lurks under the visible. It has been very hard for people to name its meaning. It is our historians, our philosophers, our writers, and our poets who are helping us to name it,” Professor Kerber, former President of the American Historical Association, said in her introduction to Friday’s panel, which included reflections on the transgendered community in Singapore, opposition to feminism in Uzbekistan, gender and creativity in Iraq, and the plight of women in Afghanistan. The panel drew a large public audience and the writers fielded questions about everything from the reality of power dynamics within households to how rap music is received in their home countries. In the future, papers presented at the Friday panels will be available in the archives section of the IWP website. Stay tuned.

Now, get ready, because we’re kicking off another full week of IWP events, including:

Tonight: Federico Falco (Argentina), one of Granta’s 2010 Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists, will be one of several readers presenting works from the anthology The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction (Open Letters Press), Prairie Lights, 7-8pm.

Then, on Tuesday, join us for IWP Cinemathèque and a discussion with Barlen Pyamootoo (Mauritius), who will present The Chess Players (India, dir. Satyajit Roy, 115 min.), E105 Adler Journalism Building, 7:30pm.

On Thursday, participate in a live chat with 2010 resident Hinemoana Baker (New Zealand), who will discuss the interaction between Maori and mainstream literature with University of Iowa Professor Mary J Campbell. The live video connection will enable the audience in Iowa City to interact with an audience in Wellington, New Zealand. Old Capitol Mall, room 2520-C (upstairs), 6:30-7:30pm.                                       

On Friday, don’t miss this week’s panel: “Writing in a Country at War,” which will exceptionally be held in the Gerber Lounge (room 304, English-Philosophy Building). Presenters include Yaghoub Yadali (Iran), Bilal Tanweer (Pakistan), Mohib Zegham (Afghanistan), and Alisa Ganieva (Russia); join us for conversation/Q&A, and pizza, noon-1pm.

After the panel, head over to the Shambaugh House for a reading by Luis Bravo (Uruguay) and Milagros Socorro (Venezuela), 5-6pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Finally, join us at Prairie Lights on Sunday for a reading by Barlen Pyamootoo (Mauritius) and Chan Chi Tak (Hong Kong), who will be joined by Writers' Workshop student Aamina Ahmad, 4-5pm.

Look forward to seeing you at this week’s events. In the meantime, visit our Facebook page to see photos of last week’s trip to the 65th Annual Tri-State Rodeo and follow us on Twitter for daily news and updates!

Go Bessie Go! Writers Visit Lake MacBride and Wilson’s Apple Orchard

 After a full week of literary events in Iowa City, International Writing Program Residents piled into two vans and made the short drive to nearby Lake Macbride State Park. 2012 Resident Stephanie Ye of Singapore wasted no time in fastening her orange life-vest and climbing into an aluminum canoe for a scenic paddle around the lake with IWP Director Christopher Merrill. Other writers strolled along one of the park’s forested trails or sat on the hill overlooking the lake and chatted about writing, literature, and their first impressions of Iowa. Gulala Nouri of Iraq insisted she’d seen a snake in the water, though other writers on the paddleboat with her were skeptical. “There are no poisonous snakes in Iowa,” Merrill confidently assured her.  “Maybe it was a stick,” she admitted, laughing.

Later in the afternoon, a group assembled in the shade of a large tree near the dock and shared traditional songs from their home countries, first singing, then translating and explaining the lyrics. Milagros Socorro’s contribution, a snippet of the Venezuelan classic “Tonada de Luna Llena,” drew loud applause and calls for an encore. From the songs, talk turned to language and, of course, to writing. Mohib Zegham of Afghanistan shared how, when the Taliban came to his town, he could not express his thoughts and feelings without endangering himself and his family, so he turned instead to writing stories. As the writers hiked back up the hill toward the parking lot, Zegham stopped for a moment near the picnic tables to reflect on how important this residency is for him. “Iowa is paradise,” he declared. “I wish there would be a writer from Afghanistan at the IWP every year.”

On the way back to Iowa City, the writers made a stop at Wilson’s Apple Orchard, a local favorite, where Orchard owner Paul Rasch was waiting to give them a ride with the help of his loyal Bessie, an enormous bright green John Deere tractor. No sooner had the writers climbed aboard the long wooden wagon hooked behind the tractor, then they were off, down the grassy slope between rows of apple trees and pumpkin patches. The tractor hesitated when crossing the creek, but with a little positive reinforcement (Mr. Rasch led the writers in a chorus of Go Bessie Go!)  Bessie finally managed to pull her heavy literary load up the bank and into the rolling green hills. Back at the orchard store, the writers milled around sampling local products, then went out to take advantage of  the orchard’s shade while enjoying crisp, fresh apples, homemade apple turnovers, and apple cider donuts (“Perfect with tea,” Bilal Tanweer of Pakistan said). The day had cooled off, the perfect end to the first week.

Follow us on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more photos of the trip. Remember to check back here Monday for an update on upcoming events.

Get Ready for a Week of Exciting IWP Events!

The writers are here, the jetlag has worn off and the Fall Residency is in full swing! After a busy inaugural week, which included readings, a film screening, swimming and boating at nearby Lake Macbride, and a tractor tour of Wilson’s Apple Orchard, where the writers sampled homemade apple cider donuts and apple turnovers (look for a blog post on this excursion later in the week), we are ready to kick off a second week of exciting IWP events.

To begin with, we hope you will join us on tonight (Tuesday) for the second installment of IWP Cinemathèque.  IWP Resident Pandora (Poet: Burma) will be presenting The Tiger and the Snow (Italian: La tigre e la neve; 2007, Italy, dir. Roberto Benigni, 113 min.) at 7:30pm in room 105E of the Adler Journalism Building. A lively discussion will follow!

On Friday, stop by for the first Iowa City Public Library panel of the fall, on the subject of “Spectral Gender.” Alina Dadaeva (Uzbekistan), Gulala Nouri (Iraq), Pandora (Burma), Stephanie Ye (Singapore), and Mohib Zegham (Afghanistan) will discuss the tensions that arise over the changing roles that men and women play in society and the responsibility of writers when it comes to tradition versus change in an increasingly globalized world. UI Professor Emerita Linda Kerber will introduce the panel, noon-1pm in Meeting Room A, Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn Street. Pizza and drinks will be served.

After Friday’s panel, come by the Shambaugh House for a reading by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman (New Zealand) and Dimitris Lyacos (Greece/Italy), 5-6pm.

Then, on Sunday, Khaled Alberry (Egypt) and Jana Beňová (Slovakia) will give a reading at Prairie Lights, 4-5pm. They will be joined by Iowa Writers’ Workshop student Nikki-Lee Birdsey.

Check back next Monday for more upcoming events and please remember to visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Oriented and Hitting the Ground Running

We're proud to announce that our 2012 Fall Residents have arrived! Coming from far and wide, these incoming writers have spent this early part of the week getting acclimated to their new environment, have gone thorugh the IWP's orientation program, and have celebrated their arrival with a wonderful reception held at IWP Director Christopher Merrill's Iowa City home.

The opening reception featured remarks by University of Iowa President Sally Mason as well as Congressman Dave Loebsack. Each writer also took a turn at the microphone to introduce him- or herself to the audience of approximately 250 community members, friends, colleagues, administrators, and lovers of literature who had gathered to welcome them to Iowa.

In the coming weeks, we'll be posting regular updates here at the Shambaugh House blog as well as to our Facebook Page and our Twitter feed.

This Friday, our Shambaugh House Reading series will get its start with readings by Mohibullah Zegham (fiction writer, translator; Afghanistan) and Genevieve L. Asenjo (fiction writer, poet, translator; Philippines). The reading will begin at 5 p.m. and light refreshments (coffee, tea, bagels) will be served.

After the Shambaugh House Reading, two of our Fall Residents will be participating in the Anthology Reading series, which brings together writers from across writing programs and communities here in Iowa City. TJ Dema (poet; Botswana) and Bilal Tanweer (fiction writer; Pakistan) will read alongside Fatimah Espiritu, Thessaly La Force, and Deborah Taffa. 936 E. Bloomington at 7:30PM.

Then, on Sunday, Taleb Al Refai (fiction writer; Kuwait), TJ Dema (poet; Botswana) and Ariel Lewiton (from Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program) will read at Prairie Lights at 4 p.m.

Check back every Monday for a look at that week's events (Mon. through the following Sun.), and be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Introducing Our 2012 Fall Residents, Round 5: Bravo, Hae, Ye, Holman, and Socorro

Round V of the IWP's introduction to our 2012 Fall Residents includes writers from Uruguay, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, and Venezuela! Stay tuned tomorrow for the final batch, and for the entire roster as it goes live at iwp.uiowa.edu!


Luis BRAVO (poet, essayist; Uruguay) has published eleven works of poetry in book form and as multimedia, most recently Árbol Veloz [Swift Tree] (2009) and Tamudando (2010). Bravo’s poems have appeared online and in print, in Latin America and Europe; group works can be found here.  His essays have appeared in a variety of anthologies, magazines, and other publications; he has also published four volumes of criticism. He teaches literature at Universidad de Montevideo. His participation is courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.



HAE Yisoo (fiction writer; South Korea) made his debut in 2000. After two story collections, 캥거루가 있는 사막 [The Kangaroo in the Desert] (2006) and 젤리피쉬  [The Jellyfish] (2009), his first novel, 고쿄 [Gokyo Peak], will be published serially online this year. He is the recipient of the 2004 Sim Hoon Literary Award and the 2010 Han Moosuk Literary Award.  He has worked at the International Creative Writing Center at Dankook University, and coordinated the 2010 Seoul International Writers’ Festival. He participates courtesy of the Korea Literature Translation Institute (KLTI).


Stephanie YE (fiction writer; Singapore) has been published in journals such as the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Mascara Literary Review, and Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine. Her first solo publication is a chapbook titled The Billion Shop, published by Math Paper Press in 2012. She has worked as a copyeditor, arts reporter, and book critic for The Straits Times. Ye’s participation was made possible thanks to a grant from the Singapore National Arts Council.



Jeffrey Paparoa HOLMAN (poet, nonfiction writer; New Zealand) has worked as a sheep-shearer, postman, lecturer, psychiatric social worker and bookseller. He is the author of a book of nonfiction, Best of Both Worlds: The Story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau (2010), and seven collections of poetry, including As Big As A Father (2002) and, most recently Shaken Down 6.3. His memoir, The Lost Pilot is forthcoming. His participation is supported through a grant from Creative New Zealand.




Milagros SOCORRO (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Venezuela) is the author of 13 books, including the short story collections Una atmósfera de viaje [A Journey’s Atmosphere] (1990) and Actos de Salvajismo [Acts of Wildness] (1999), and the novel El abrazo del tamarindo [The Embrace of the Tamarind Tree] (2008).  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies of Latin American literature, and she has edited 12 literary collections. She teaches journalism and creative writing at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, is the editor of the online news portal Código Venezuela, and contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers. She participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.










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