UI President Sally Mason Visits Shanghai Writers' Group

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 enlightening: "Chris Merrill was with us for that part of our visit, and it was quite energizing to sit in a room filled with writers that some of which I knew by name, some of whom I knew by their work and some whom I hadn’t met before. But so many of them spoke so wonderfully about their time in Iowa City and how they hope to come back."

The International Writing Program (IWP) is a unique conduit for the world’s literatures, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, bringing international literature into classrooms, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, and serving as a clearinghouse for literary news and a wealth of archival and pedagogical materials. Since 1967, over fourteen hundred writers from more than 140 countries have been in residence at the University of Iowa.

While the IWP conducts classes and tours throughout the year, its principal program is its Fall Residency, which runs from late August to mid-November. The Residency is designed for established and emerging creative writers — poets, fiction writers, dramatists, and non-fiction writers. The minimum requirements are that they have published at least one book, and that they possess sufficient proficiency in English to profit from the Iowa experience.

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