The University of Iowa

Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Chris Abani Visits UI


IOWA CITY, IOWA — The International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa welcomes Chris Abani, an award-winning Nigerian/American novelist and poet, to Iowa City this week with a series of free public events. Abani, the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University, is an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. Abani’s visit to the UI campus is supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, established in 1978-79 with a bequest by the late Ida Cordelia Beam of Vinton to the University, as a source of intellectual stimulation and an opportunity to bring new perspectives in knowledge and teaching to the UI campus.

Free Public Events with Chris Abani This Week:

Roundtable with IWP Residents from Africa

Weds., Sept. 19, noon-2PM
S401 John Pappajohn Business Bldg.

Featured guests: Chris Abani (USA/Nigeria) with IWP Fall Residents Amara Nicole Okolo (Nigeria), Umar Timol (Mauritius), and Salah Badis (Algeria)

Join Chris Abani and 2018 International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residents from Africa for an informal discussion of literature in Africa, the lives and experience of Africa’s creative writers, and the relationship between creative writing and Africa’s current political and social condition.


Conversation on Identity Formation with the UI African Student Association
Weds., Sept. 19, 7-8PM

Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, 223 Lucon Dr., Iowa City

Everyone is invited to join this informal conversation.


Panel Discussion: “Working-in-progress”

Friday, Sept. 21, noon-1PM, with free pizza
Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, 123 S . Linn St., Iowa City

Panelists: Chris Abani + International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residents Huang Chong-Kai (Taiwan), Amara Okolo (Nigeria), Takiguchi Yusho (Japan), and Yamila Begné (Argentina)

How does one know where to start and stop? What if no progress is being made? What is the best/worst advice you’ve ever been given about writing? Panelists may present work in an open, “in-progress” format.


Reading by Special Guest & Writer Chris Abani

5-6PM, Friday, Sept. 21
*Location Change* ­– now at Frank Conroy Reading Room, Writers’ Workshop Dey House, 507 N. Clinton St., Iowa City

The culmination of Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Chris Abani’s four-day campus visit.

This year’s IWP Fall Residency includes 28 writers from 27 countries in its 11-week Residency for writing and cultural exchange, hosted with major support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department and the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The IWP hosts 4+ free public events weekly through Oct. 28, 2018. For details, [follow%20the%20IWP%20on%20Facebook]follow the IWP on Facebook or here:


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the IWP in advance at (319) 335-0128 or


Since 1967, the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa has hosted more than 1,400 writers from more than 150 countries, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, publishing books and journals, pursuing cultural diplomacy, and organizing tours, conferences, and other literary and intercultural events around the world. The Fall Residency is part of IWP’s programming, with major funding provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department.