International Writing Program

Ghanaian poet and celebrated writer Kofi Awoonor was among the victims killed by terrorists at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. On Monday, October 14 at 11am CDT the International Writing Program live-streamed a memorial reading of his poetry.

What is Book Wings?

Collaborative bilingual digitally-connected theatre that brings specially commissioned literary works by distinguished authors to the stage and to internet viewers around the world. This March, the University of Iowa links up with the Moscow Art Theatre (established by Stanislavsky, home stage of Chekhov) and with...

Book Wings 2014

IWP residents Muhamed Abdelnabi (Egypt) and Teemu Manninen (Finland) are joined by a Iowa Writers Workshop fiction student Yaa Gyasi at Prairie Lights.

 The IWP in conjunction with the Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights Books hosted a reading to commemorate the life and works of Irish poet Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Readers included Martin Dyar, James Galvin, Michelle Glazer, Dmitry Golynko, Richard Kenney, Mark Levine, Teemu Manninen, Christopher Merrill, Patrícia Portela and D.A. Powell.

Christopher Merrill reads from his most recent books of poetry, Necessities and Boat.

“Christopher Merrill is one of the most gifted, audacious, and accomplished poets of an extraordinary rich generation." - W.S. Merwin

He is the author of five previous collections of poetry, ten books of translations; six edited volumes; and five books of nonfiction, including The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. His writings have been translated in 25...

Irish writer Eavan Boland, Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa, presents the annual Paul Engle Memorial Reading. Boland, who attended an IWP residency in 1979, has published nine volumes of poetry as well as two volumes of prose. She is professor of English at Stanford University and director of the creative writing program.

Between the Lines (BTL) brings together young writers aged 16-19 years old from the USA, Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to develop their creative writing skills while exploring each other’s cultures. For two exciting weeks, participants learn from one another through creative writing workshops, a world literatures class, one-on-one mentoring from instructors who are prize-winning, published authors, Skype seminars with international writers, and nightly cultural enrichment activities....

Udupi R Ananthamurthy, a nominee for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, was a resident with the IWP in Iowa City twice: in 1974 and 1986.

Ananthamurthy, born in the village of Melige in Mysore on December 21, 1932, is one of the most important representatives of the “Navya” or “New Movement” in the literature of the Kannada language. Kannada is spoken by about 50 million people in India, Mauritius, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

Ananthamurthy graduated in...

You've got to believe in yourself. If there is anything stopping you, deal with it right away and see to it that you demonstrate your dependability, your strength of character and your ability to reach your goals.

Ogochukwu Promise is a former participant in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program, and is a passionate psychologist, novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, motivational speaker, career advisor, and visual artist. 

Currently, Promise...

Mo Yan, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, was a resident with the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa during the 2004 residency program. He spent two weeks in Iowa City in September 2004, while in the process of writing his novel Sandalwood Death (2004).

During his stay, Mo Yan paid special visit to the Chinese writer Hualing Nieh who, along with her late husband Paul Engle, co-founded the IWP in 1977 and made Iowa City her home. In anemail...

Bilal Tanweer was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and lived there until the age of 19. In 2002, he moved to Lahore, Pakistan, where he graduated in Social Sciences, with a focus on literature and development studies. After graduation, Tanweer worked for a year as a journalist and a high-school teacher. During that year, he applied to many MFA programs in the U.S., and was accepted to the Columbia University Program of Creative Writing, which he attended with a Fulbright grant from 2007 to 2010....

Alisa Ganieva, a Russian writer from the Caucasus region of Dagestan, was a 2012 resident with the International Writing Program. While in Iowa City, she spoke with our Writing University writer Zlatko Anguelov about her life and literary career.

Ganieva was born as a premature baby in Moscow while her parents were living there as graduate students. When she was two months old, her parents returned to Dagestan, and she fondly remembers spending her early childhood with her grandmother...

Taleb al-Refai, a civil engineer by trade and a fiction writer since 1978, was born in Kuwait City. He has published seven collections of short stories, a play, a number of critical works, and four novels, including the controversial The Shadow of the Sun in 1998. His 2002 The Scent of the Sea won the Kuwait National Award for Arts & Literature. Al-Refai has joined the staff of the National Council for Culture, Art and Literature in 1996, where he manages the...

Peter Nazareth (born April 27, 1940), a major critic and writer, was born in Uganda of Goan and Malaysian decent. He is currently professor of English and African-American World Studies at the University of Iowa, where he is also acts as a consultant to the International Writing Program.

Early Life

From an early age, Nazareth’s family encouraged his involvement with writing and music. Nazareth states, “In my house there was no distinction between high...

During the fall residency, the IWP will be streaming their Friday Night Reading series from the Shambaugh House. You can listen to the readings live on this page at 5:00 PM (CST) every Friday.

 

 

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In a recent interview with the Daily Iowan, University of Iowa president Sally Mason mentioned a recent trip to Asia, where Mason, along with Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Christopher Merrill met the Shanghai Writers' Group.

"A number of these writers have been in our International Writing Program. These are some of the most prominent and famous writers in China today." Mason described the experience as...

From May 30 to June 3, a group of writers from the University of Iowa International Writing Program's Reading Tour, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, visited Cambodia to conduct creative writing workshops with Cambodian writers and students.

Over 40 Cambodian writers and poets participated in two half-day workshops conducted by a group of five American writers from the Iowa University International Writing Program, at the Pannasastra Univeristy of Cambodia. 

International Writing Program alum Khaled Khalifa (IWP 2007) has a record of writing eloquently about contemporary Syria’s complex political landscape. While much of his work has been in TV drama, a massive novel about an Aleppo family caught in the Alaouite-Islamist conflict appeared a few years ago; it was next translated in France as Éloge de la haine...

The 2012 Best Translated Book Award for poetry, given annually by the indispensable  journal and site Three Percent  has just been announced at the PEN New Voices festival, and it goes to a title featuring not one but two IWP alumni: ...

"The first thing you see are the cigarette butts. There are thousands of them — 4,213 to be exact — mounted behind plexiglass on the ground floor of the Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s new museum, named for and based on his 2008...

Mystery writer Ridley Pearson, science writer Carl Zimmer, and novelist Laura Moriarty are among a rich lineup of writers who will take part in the Iowa City Book Festival (ICBF) this summer, the University of Iowa Libraries announced today.

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