The University of Iowa

International Writing Programs in Cambodia

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.  The workshop was very interactive in that both Cambodian and American writers actively discussed a wide range of topics, including how to write a good poem, style, wording, and meaning. They also touched on the differences of Cambodian poetry and American poetry.  

The American writers were impressed with how rich and diverse the styles of Cambodia poems are and how beautifully they rhyme.   Feedback from the participants was very positive, and the American writers considered the workshop to be highly successful.  The workshop was made possible through collaboration with the Nou Hach Literature Association and the Khmer Writers Association.  Cambodian Television Network (CTN) TV and Rasmei Kampuchea covered the workshop.  The workshop was also posted on youtube and on the Nou Hach Literature Association Facebook page.

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