The University of Iowa

IWP Director Christopher Merrill to Discuss Trip to Afghanistan on IPR’s River to River

Listen to the audio recording of this program here.

Poet, Professor, and Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa Christopher Merrill recently travelled to Afghanistan where he met with Afghan poets, fiction writers, and journalists. As the U.S. prepares to fully withdraw from that country, what is in store for the country’s writers and journalists? What does it mean to make art and literature in a country plagued by violence? These topics and more will be addressed in Merrill’s interview with River to River host Ben Kieffer.

Christopher Merrill's books include collections of poetry, Brilliant Water, Workbook, Fevers & Tides, and Watch Fire; translations of Ales Debeljak's Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; several edited volumes, among them, The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O'Keeffe as Icon; and five books of nonfiction, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee,Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, and The Tree of Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. He directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa.


In the past nine months, Merrill has been to Afghanistan twice and has written about his most recent journey in Granta: