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UI International Writing Program welcomes 31 writers from 25 countries

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa International Writing Program, celebrating 30 years as a promoter of global literary understanding, is welcoming 31 prominent writers from 25 countries to three-month fall residencies at the UI in Iowa City. The writers will be in residence from the end of August through November.

The 1997 roster includes well-established poets, fiction writers, translators, playwrights and screenwriters from South America, Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, Europe and North America.

Included are the Hungarian translator of Stephen King; South Africa's best-selling Afrikaans writer; one of Togo's leading human rights activists; a Ugandan writer who intends to use her time at the UI to complete a novel about the Rwandan genocide; Greece's most celebrated young novelist, who is also a regular contributor to Elle magazine; a Paraguayan dentist who is also one of her country's three most important woman writers; a poet from New Zealand who sometimes performs her work to the accompaniment of Irish uillean pipes; and a novelist from the United Kingdom whose most recent novel was a July Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

The writers, who will live together on the eighth floor of the UI Mayflower Residence Hall, will be accessible to the public throughout the fall in a series of events including readings, lectures and panel discussions at the UI and in the surrounding region.

The first in a weekly series of Sunday readings in Iowa City's Prairie Lights bookstore is slated for 5 p.m. Aug. 31. The series, which pairs IWP writers with student writers from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, will continue through November.

Wednesday panel discussions addressing topics of interest to the writers will begin Sept. 3, and will be convened most Wednesdays at 3 p.m. through Nov. 12 in Room 304 of the UI English-Philosophy Building.

Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers' residency program at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. The IWP brings established writers from all parts of the world to the UI, where they become part of a lively literary community that includes the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the UI program in literary non-fiction.

Over the years more than 1,100 writers from more than 110 countries have completed residencies in the program.

IWP participants do not take classes at the UI, but in addition to working on their current writing and research projects, they give readings and lectures, serve on discussion panels, initiate translation projects, view cultural and artistic events, and contribute to a mini-course, "International Literature Today," which uses their writing as textual material.

Program director Clark Blaise also offers a lively workshop in colloquial English, for participants who wish to extend their conversational language skills.

Many of the IWP writers participate in another pioneering project, the Interactive Translation Project, which links UI translators directly with activeforeign-language writers.

Some of the writers also become involved with the IWP's unique literary journal, 100 Words. Created in 1993 as a forum for visiting writers' perceptions of the United States, the journal is a lens revealing cultural differences. Each issue of the journal features contributions from foreign and American writers that respond in no more than 100 words to a single trigger word. The first of the 1997-98 issues will focus on "memory."

In the course of their residencies, many of the IWP writers travel from Iowa City to present lectures, readings and symposia at other campuses in Iowa and throughout the country, and to visit locations of cultural or historical interest. During their travels the writers, many of whom are visiting the United States for the first time, become acquainted with American culture and people.

The IWP is the primary contact through which foreign writers know the United States, and for many it becomes a source of their first American publications. The participants' close associations within the IWP also lead to translation projects of their own devising, resulting in Chinese-Spanish, Polish-Korean, Romanian-Dutch,Albanian-Hebrew and other improbable combinations that are often first-time literary encounters.

These ad hoc translation projects exemplify the IWP's many unpredictable personal, intellectual and literary encounters that would be impossible in the writers' home countries. The IWP stresses the common interests of writers everywhere, in an atmosphere that puts political and cultural differences in perspective. For writers who live under repressive regimes, the IWP has offered an opportunity to write, speak and interact freely.

Three decades of residencies have enabled the IWP to accumulate an unparalleled collection of resources on international literature. The IWP remains in contact with many former participants, perpetuating an unprecedented literary and intellectual network without national boundaries.

IWP residencies are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants from cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds given by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The major source of IWP funding outside the UI is the United States Information Agency (USIA), a program of the U.S. federal government.

Additional information about the IWP and 100 Words is now available at the new IWP World Wide Web site, <>


 Argentina  *Mr. Jorge E. ACCAME  poet, fiction writer
 Bolivia  *Ms. Monica VELASQUEZ  poet
 Burma  Ms. Nu Nu YIY  fiction writer

(awaiting confirmation) 

 Chile  Mr. Sergio GOMEZ  fiction writer, playwright
 Egypt  *Mr. Mohamed M. METWALY Award  poet, fiction writer
 Greece  *Mr. Christos HOMENIDES  fiction writer
 Hungary  *Mr. BEKES Pal  playwright, translator
   *Mr. HAMVAI Kornel  playwright, fiction
 Korea  Mr. HAN Ki  fiction writer
 Mexico  *Mr. Guillermo QUINTERO Montano  fiction writer, critic
   *Ms. Aura Maria VIDALES Ibarra  poet
 Malawi  *Mr. Steve SHARRA  poet
 Malaysia  Mr. Zakaria ARIFFIN  playwright
 Mozambique  *Ms. Lilia MOMPLE  fiction writer
 New Zealand  Ms. Bernadette HALL  poet, playwright
 Paraguay  *Dr. (Ms.) Lourdes ESPINOLA Wiezell  poet
 Poland  Ms. Adriana SZYMANSKA  poet
 Russia  *Ms. Marina Anatolyevna PALEI  fiction writer
   *Mr. Aleksey Nikolayevich VARLAMOV  fiction writer
 Singapore  Dr. Kirpal SINGH  fiction writer
   Ms. Suchen Christine LIM  fiction writer
 Slovakia  *Mr. Peter MACSOVSZKY  poet
 South Africa  Ms. Marita van der VYVER  fiction writer
   *Mr. RAPOLA Zachariah Papi  poet, screenwriter
 Taiwan  *Mr. CHANG Ta-Chun  fiction writer
 Togo  *Mr. Mawule Kuamvi KUAKUVI  fiction writer
 Uganda  *Ms. Goretti KYOMUHENDO  fiction writer
 United Kingdom  *Mr. Tibor Nicholas Elek FISCHER  fiction writer
 Venezuela  *Mr. Arturo José GUTIERREZ  poet
 Vietnam  *Ms. Ly Thi LAN  fiction writer
 Yugoslavia  Ms. Jasmina TESANOVIC  fiction writer, translator


Biographic Information

Jorge Eduardo ACCAME (fiction writer from Argentina; born in Buenos Aires, 1956) teaches Greek at the Jujuy National University and writes essays, articles, poems and short fiction for two local newspapers in northern Argentina. He studied literature at the Catholic University in Buenos Aires and attended a year-long seminar on folkloric literature at University of Urbino in Italy. He is the author of two poetry collections, "Punk y circo" (1989) and "Golja" (1995); five short story collections, among them "Dia de pesca" ("A Day of Fishing," 1990); "Cuarteto en el monte" ("Wild Country Quartet," 1993); and "El mejor tema de los '70" ("The Top Hit of the Seventies," 1996); and an award-winning theatre work, "Chingoil Compani, Surinam ataca" (1996). His work has appeared in more than 10 anthologies. Among his honors are the first prize for "Dia de pesca" from the Banco de Accion Social, the 1996 Iris Marga Prize for drama and numerous awards for his books for children. He also translates from classical Greek and Latin; in addition to his native Spanish and Italian, he speaks German and Quicha. His participation is supported jointly by the Fundacion Antorchas, the US Information Agency, and the IWP. His name is pronounced /HOR heh/ /ahk SAH meh/.

Zakaria ARIFFIN (playwright, children's author, fiction writer from Malaysia; born in Kuantan, 1952) is research officer and language-planning officer at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka literary organization of Malaysia. He also teaches scriptwriting and drama part time at the National Art Academy in Kuala Lumpur and is a freelance writer/director for theatre and television. He is the author of 10 plays, among them "The Opera House" (1988), which received multiple national awards; books for children and young adults; 20 scripts for documentary video; and 80 essays, works of criticism and reviews, including co-authorship of "A History of Modern Malay Literature", vol. 2 (1992), "Introduction to Malay Traditional Arts" (1992), and editing of "Modern ASEAN Plays: Malaysia" (1994). He holds the BA (with honors) from the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. The Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia is his sponsor. His name is pronounced /zah KAR yah/ /ah REE feen/

BEKES Pal (playwright, fiction writer, translator from Hungary; born in Budapest, 1956) is chief editor of literature and theatre at Hungarian Television (MTV), and as a well-established playwright is regularly commissioned to translate and to stage plays with English-language origins. He received his training in Hungarian language and literature, English language and literature, and comparative literature at Eotvos Lorand University, he held a Fulbright Fellowship at Columbia University in 1992-93, and he is a member of the Hungarian Writers' Union and PEN. Bekes has published 10 books, several novels and collections of short fiction and plays. He is supported by a grant from the United States Information Agency. His name is pronounced /BEH kesh/ /PAHL/.

CHANG Ta-chun (fiction writer, editor from Taiwan; born in Taipei, 1957) is a lecturer in the Chinese Language & Literature Department of Fu Jen Catholic University, where he teaches a course on the modern novel, using mostly American novels. He writes about literature for two major newspapers and he was previously editor of the prestigious China Times weekly and editor in chief of the China Times Express Literature Supplement. From 1993 to 1996 he was a television producer and host of a book review program. Although he is only 40, Taiwan critics describe Chang as the "master of the novel" and point to his characteristic play with language. Several of his works have appeared in English, French and German editions, notably his fiction collection, "Hi-Hsi, the Patriot" (1993). His works span multiple genres: he has published works of science fiction, humor, children's literature, historical fiction, political satire and horror. His literary criticism includes such titles as "Dr. Jekyll Hides" (1991) and "The Anti-Oedipus of Literature" (1995). Chang is an appointee of the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced as spelled.

Lourdes Elizabeth ESPINOLA Wiezell (poet from Paraguay; born in Asuncion, 1954) is considered one of the three most important women writers in Paraguay, and she ranks in her nation's top 10 among all authors. A freelance journalist for cultural affairs and a professor at the University of the North, Espinola is a leading force in the study of U. S. literature in Paraguay's institutes of higher education. She has published six books of poetry, one of them a bilingual edition in the United States, as well as numerous scholarly papers on such topics as the intertextual approach to Paraguayan women's literature. Her latest collection is "La Estrategia del Caracol," which has been praised as "a sincere manifestation of the affectionate impulse, of sensual fire, decanted with precise intensity." The daughter of a renowned Paraguayan writer, she followed her father's advice to learn an economically secure trade and has a private dental practice. She is participating in the program as a grantee of the US Information Agency. Her name is pronounced /LOOR des/ /ES pee NO lah/.

Tibor Nicholas Elek FISCHER (fiction writer from the United Kingdom; born in Stockport, 1959) has been described by England's Daily Telegraph as "one of the most brilliant novelists of his generation." His parents, both professional basketball players, emigrated from Hungary to England in 1956. He grew up in Bromley, South London, and studied Latin and French at Cambridge. He subsequently worked for television companies and newspapers in England, and in Budapest from 1988 to 1990. His first novel, "Under the Frog," was rejected by 50 British and 12 American publishers before it came out in 1992; it won the Betty Trask Award the same year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1993. Granta magazine listed him as one of the 20 best young British novelists of 1993, and his second novel, "The Thought Gang," published to wide acclaim in 1994, is being made into a movie. His work moves rapidly to ever expanding recognition: his most recent novel, "The Collector Collector," is a "literary lions" selection in the July 1997 Book-of-the-Month Club listings and was given a prominent and positive review in the New York Times Book Review. This novel -- narrated by a 6000-year-old self-proclaimed "bowl with soul" -- is enjoying wide distribution in this country through Henry Holt. The US Information Agency is providing Fischer's support at the IWP. His first name is pronounced /TEE bor/.

Sergio GOMEZ (fiction writer, editor, playwright from Chile; born in Concepcion, 1962) is literary editor of the supplement Zona de Contacto for Santiago's leading newspaper, El Mercurio. One of the literary leaders of his generation, Gomez is the author of two short story collections, "Adios, Carlos Marx, nos vemos en el Cielo" ('Goodbye, Karl Marx, We'll See You in Heaven,' 1992) and "Partes del cuerpo que no se tocan" ('Don't Touch These Body Parts'; 1997); and a novel, "Vidas Ejemplares" ('Exemplary Lives,'1994). He edited, with 1994 Chilean IWP participant Alberto Fuguet, two anthologies, "Cuentos con Walkman" (1993) and "McOndo" (1996). His play "Extranas Costumbres Orales" was staged by Teatro La Feria in 1996 and it won the Premio Concurso Nacional de Dramaturga. He adapted and directed "Palomita Blanca" for Teatro Arena in 1997. "Vidas Ejemplares" was a finalist for the prestigious Romulo Gallegos Prize, and "Adios Carlos Marx" received recognition from the Municipality of Santiago. At the University of Iowa, he plans to complete a second novel as well as work on television adaptations of stories by young Chilean authors. He is here through a grant from the Fundacion Andes. His name is pronounced /SEHR- hee yo/ /GOH mez/.

Arturo Jose GUTIERREZ Plaza (poet from Venezuela; born in Caracas, 1962) is director general for the highly respected Romulo Gallegos Latin American Studies Center (CELARG). Trained in systems engineering at the Simon Bolivar University and a member of the Venezuelan Engineer's Association, Gutierrez also holds the MA in Latin American literature from SBU, and he took several months of English studies at Chapel Hill in North Carolina and at Oxford. His publications include the poetry collection "Al Margen de las Hojas" ('To the Page Margins,' 1991), which won several awards, and a forthcoming collection, "Common Purpose," which received the Third Literary Biennial Mariano Picon Salas Prize. He is the co-author/editor of two anthologies, and many of his articles have appeared in national newspapers and magazines. Gutierrez is widely traveled and has participated in numerous literary congresses and workshops. He is a founding member and editor of Aljamia magazine and belongs to the Pequena Venecia editorial group. Gutierrez is taking part in the program through the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /ar TOO roh/ /goo TYEH rez/.

Bernadette HALL (poet, playwright from New Zealand; born in Central Otago, 1945) is the author of four poetry collections: "Heartwood" (Caxton Press, 1989), "Of Elephants etc" (untold press, 1990), "The Persistent Levitator" (Victoria University Press, 1994) and "Still Talking" (launched at the Christchurch Arts Festival, July 1997). "The Persistent Levitator" was shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards in 1995. Her plays have been performed in theaters in New Zealand and produced on National NZ Radio; "Glad and the Angels" was winner of the Aoraki Festival Playwriting Competition. Since 1991 Hall has been the poetry editor of Takahe magazine, and she is currently teaches at Hagley Community College in Christchurch. She directed the Creative Writing Summer School at Canterbury University and taught many writing workshops in Christchurch, Wellington, and Dunedin. She has also performed her poetry at various book festivals, exploring the "communal possibilities of poetry" through collaboration with an Irish uillean pipe player and music composers. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, among them the "Oxford Book of New Zealand Poetry" (1997). The Arts Council of New Zealand/Toi Aotearoa is providing joint support for her participation in the program.

Kornel HAMVAI (fiction writer, playwright, translator from Hungary; born in Budapest, 1969) has had his first, prizewinning play staged at one of Hungary's most celebrated theaters. This play, "The Shooting Party," won a drama competition on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising. His novel "Linesman Marton is Cold" (Budapest, 1995) received the 1995 Sandor Brody Prize for Best First Book in Hungarian literature. His translations cover a range of contemporary works: the poems of Derek Walcott and Charles Simic; fiction by John Berendt, Richard Preston and Stephen King; and plays by Caryl Churchill and Thomas Middleton. Hamvai holds the MA in English literature and linguistics from Elte University, and he did a year of graduate research at Oxford. He is currently editor of a literary periodical at the Eotvos Kollegium and of a journal of linguistic studies at Elte University. He was appointed to the program by the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /KOR nel/ /hum VAH ee/

Christos HOMENIDES (novelist from Greece; born in Athens, 1966) is considered the new star of Greek letters. His novel, "The Wise Kid" (Athens, 1993; 16th edition in September 1996), is being made into a film in English, a step toward worldwide recognition. He is a member of the Education Council of the Center for Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he is also an attorney-at-law. He graduated from the law school of the University of Athens in 1990. He is a regular contributor to the magazine Elle, where his interviews with famous authors, political figures and scientists appear. Homenides is the IWP's first author from Greece in over a dozen years, and his participation reestablishes a strong Greek presence exemplified by writers including Costas Tachtsis, Thanassis Valtinos, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke and Odysseus Elytis. The US Information Agency is providing the support for his participation. His name is pronounced /KREES tos/ /ho meh NEED ess/.

Mawule Kuamvi KUAKUVI (fiction writer from Togo; born in Lome, 1945) is one of his nation's well known human rights activists. He is head of the division of academics in the registrar's office at the University of Benin, where he was previously head of the department of philosophy and continues to lecture in philosophy. Kuakuvi teaches the history of philosophy, moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of nature and ontology. He was educated at the University Urbaniana de Propaganda Fide in Rome and received the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He belongs to the Association of Writers of Togo, the Human Rights League of Togo and the Union of African Human Rights Leagues. He is interested in the American government system and how individual and collective rights are guaranteed and protected, and his other interests include African-American literature. He is here through the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /mah WOO leh/ /koo AHM vee/ /koo ah KOO vee/.

Goretti KYOMUHENDO (fiction writer from Uganda; born in Hoima, 1965) coordinates the Uganda Women Writers' Association, which works with the production of literature on gender issues. Her first novel, "The First Daughter" (1996), is enjoying current popular success in Uganda, and she is at work on a manuscript about a young girl fleeing the Rwandan genocide, a project she hopes to complete at the University of Iowa. She holds a higher diploma in marketing from the National College of Business Studies, as well as a certificate in communication from Makerere University. The US Information Agency is sponsoring her at the IWP. Her name is pronounced /go RET tee/ /keeyo moo HEN doh/.

Ly Thi LAN (fiction writer from Vietnam; born in Binh Duong Province, 1957) is an English teacher, television editor and researcher, and was previously an executive member of the Ho Chi Minh City Writers' Association. Among the publications in her prolific career are several collections of short stories: "Singing Grass" (1983), "A Bit of Romance in the Rain" (1987), "Seeing Mountains in a Dream" (1991) and "Immigrants" (1995). She has also written a novel, "A Peaceful Place for Birds to Sing" (1987); a non-fiction account of the Chinese living in South Vietnam (1994); and several books for children: "Lantern Festival" (1991), "The Grown-Ups" (1992), "Whirled in the Rain" (1993) and "The Secret of the Black Lizard and Me" (1996). "Home in the Grass" (1984) was the recipient of the first prize from the Vietnam Writers' Association. Ly Lan's participation in the IWP continues a connection begun last year with fiction writer Phan Thi Vang Ahn. Her participation is supported by the US Information Agency. Her name is pronounced /LEE/ /TEE/ /LAHN/.

Suchen Christine LIM (fiction writer from Singapore; born in Perak, 1948) began writing fiction on her return to the National University of Singapore for a literature honors course after teaching some years in a junior college. The result was a novel, "Ricebowl" (1984). In 1986 she co-authored a prizewinning short play, "The Amah: a Portrait in Black and White." Her second novel, "Gift from the Gods," appeared in 1990, and in 1992 she was the first writer to receive the Singapore Literature Prize for her third novel, "Fistful of Colours." While studying for her post-graduate diploma in applied linguistics she co-edited a literature series for secondary schools. She is presently a curriculum specialist in the Singapore Ministry of Education, and she has also written teaching materials and several children's stories. Lim is here on a Fulbright grant through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.Her name is pronounced /SOO chen/ /LIM/

Mohamed Mohamed METWALY Awad (poet, translator from Egypt; born in Giza, 1970) is editor and translator at the teletext service of Egyptian television and editor of the Morning News Bulletin, English News Service, of Radio Cairo. He is also founder and editor of the literary magazine Al-Jarad. Metwaly's publications prove not only his talent but his fresh and challenging voice: in 1992 he received the "Yusuf al-Khal" prize for the best first poetry collection for "Once Upon a Time" and the 1991 Rimbaud Prize for young poets given by Ibda magazine. His work is said to represent a major shift in contemporary literary values. He holds poetry readings throughout Egypt and he is also active in a local theater group, Shrapnel, He collaborated with the American cultural

affairs office at the 1996 Cairo International Experimental Theater Festival. "Once Upon a Time" was first published in Arabic in the United Kingdom in 1992, and his poetry has also appeared in Lebanese publications and in English translation. He earned the BA in English from Cairo University in 1992 and took courses at the Egyptian Film Institute. The US Information Agency is providing his grant to the program. His surname is pronounced /met WAH lee/.

Lilia Maria Clara Carriere MOMPLE (fiction writer from Mozambique; born in Ilha de Mocambique, 1935) is one of her country's best known writers. Her works have been translated into English and have appeared in African and Mozambican anthologies. She is also known for her participation in Mozambique's liberation movement. Armed with a bachelor's degree in social work from Portugal, she was poised to lend a hand to a struggling post-colonial government at a time when there were few professionals in the country. She represented her country in numerous international meetings on cultural issues, including the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris. As the current president of the Mozambican Writers' Association (AEMO) General Assembly, she works actively toward promoting female authors and civic education. Her writing career spans the colonial, socialist and democratic cultural contexts of her country. Her literary publications include two novels, "Neighbours" (1995) and the forthcoming "The Eyes of the Green Cobra," and a short story collection, "Nobody Killed Shuhura" (1989), which was translated into Italian and English. Her short story "Slum Dwelling" won the first prize in the literary contest of the centennial of Maputo in 1987. She is at the IWP through the US Information Agency. Her name is pronounced /LIL ya/ /mom PLEH/.

Zyta ORYSZYN (a.k.a. Zyta Anna KACZYNSKA, fiction writer from Poland; born in Zagorz, 1940) is the author of six novels that she describes as political-psychological works, among them "Time of Illness, Time of Mourning" and "Illumination." Her work has appeared in an anthology of Polish women writers and deals with Stalinist times in Poland from the viewpoint of a child and teenager. Oryszyn was a journalist with the Solidarity weekly and in the underground press during Poland's time of great change, and she is currently a member of the Polish PEN and the Association of Polish Writers. She completed her studies in the philosophy faculty of Warsaw University in 1970. Her works have appeared in Hungarian and German translation. Her participation in the IWP is through a grant from the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation. Her pen name is pronounced /TZEE ta/ /OR ee sheen/

Marina Anatolyevna PALEI (fiction writer, translator, critic from Russia; born in Leningrad Oblast, 1955) writes in a style that has been described as "covering a complete range of the most unpredictable possibilities," its scope traversing psychological realism and surrealism, its style moving "from expressionist lucidity to the sparkle of paradox." Her work as writer, critic and translator has appeared in all the major journals of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in every anthology of Russian 20th-century prose. Critics have called her tale "Caribia from the Obvodnoy Canal" one of the most striking and significant prose works of 1991; it was later nominated for the Russian Booker prize. Her prose has been translated into eight languages and published throughout Europe and North America. Palei received her academic training at the Leningrad Medical Institute and the Moscow Literary Institute. She is a member of the Union of Writers of Russia and the Russia PEN Center. The USIA is providing her grant to the IWP. Her name is pronounced /mah REE na/ /ana tol YEF nah/ /pah LAY/.

Guillermo QUINTERO Montano (fiction writer from Mexico; born in Michoacan de Ocampo, 1940) is senior professor of American and English literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and as a highly placed mentor to several generations of students, he has been instrumental in developing a good number of his country's current scholars, authors, translators and researchers of American and

British literature. He studied at Trinity College in Cambridge. He is the author of many scholarly texts, including "The English Novel: Four Eighteenth Century Authors" (1978), "Shakespeare: The Mirror and the Target" (1979) and "Irony and Humor in Medieval Literature" (1983). Currently in press is "The Hero in the American Novel: from Herman Melville to Russell Banks." Quintero is presently working on a nonfiction work addressing life in big cities. His first novel, "Semper Fidelis" (1994), is described as a Mexican novel about Vietnam, and tells of a Mexican student on scholarship at a US university who, to thank the United States for its generosity, enlists in the US Army during the Vietnam War. His participation in the IWP will be his first extensive visit to this country, and is supported by the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /gi YER moh/ /keen TEH ro/.

RAPOLA Zachariah Papi (poet, scriptwriter, fiction writer from South Africa; born in Johannesburg, 1962) is a freelance director/producer for the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation and he is also very involved with adult literacy programs through the Congress of South African Writers, an organization with a huge impact on the general population. He received training in documentary filmmaking from the European Film College, a certificate in the teaching of English for foreigners at Cambridge University (Sached) in Johannesburg, and training in adult literacy facilitation at the University of Witwatersrand. Films he produced and directed have been shown in Johannesburg and in France and Denmark. Rapola has been the recipient of the Tribute magazine poetry award and a grant from the Foundation for the Creative Arts to complete a short story collection, "Beginnings of a Dream." The US Information Agency is providing his grant to the IWP. His name is pronounced /rah PO lah/ /pah PEE/.

Steve SHARRA (fiction writer, children's author from Malawi; born in Lilongwe, 1971) is considered one of his country's bright and promising writers. His children's novel, "Seeing the War," was published by Macmillan in 1996. He is presently editorial assistant for educational materials and a member of the Malawi Writers Union, the Copyright Society of Malawi and the Malawi PEN organization. A teacher by training, Sharra has taught primary school and also contributed articles to local publications. He is interested in familiarizing himself with US literary history while he is at the University of Iowa. His participation is supported by the US Information Agency. His surname is pronounced /SHAH rah/

Jasmina TESANOVIC (scriptwriter, fiction writer from Yugoslavia; born in Belgrade, 1954) founded, with two other women, the first women's publishing house in Serbia in 1994. She writes, translates and edits both non-fiction and fiction dealing with women's issues. She assisted in the production and writing of several films in Italy and Belgrade, worked on movies for Belgrade TV and gave video art performances. Tesanovic edited "The Suitcase," stories of women refugees (University of California Press, 1996), and is at work on a novel on women's history, language and psychology that uses a combination of fables and psychology. She received her training in modern letters at the Universita Statale di Milano. She now teaches creative writing at Women's Studies of Belgrade. Her participation, which begins in November, is provided by ArtsLink/CEC Partners. Her name is pronounced /yash MEE nah/ /tesh ah NOH veech/

Marita VAN DER VYVER (fiction writer from South Africa; born in Cape Town, 1958) wrote her first novel for adults in 1992, and it made publishing history in South Africa by selling more copies in its first few days and months than any other Afrikaans novel. It also won some of the most prestigious literary awards in the country, including the biggest local literary prize, the M-Net. It was also the first Afrikaans novel to be published in Chinese. The English translation, "Entertaining Angels," was published in 1993 by Dutton (USA) and as a Penguin paperback in Britain. In 1994 her second novel was featured on the bestseller lists for nearly a year, and it also appeared in the United

States and Britain. Before writing her first adult novel she wrote three novels for young adults. She holds a masters degree in journalism. Van der Vyver has just completed a third book under contract with Dutton and Michael Joseph/Penguin. Her participation comes through a bursary from the South African Foundation of the Creative Arts. Her surname is pronounced /fon der VY fer/

Aleksey Nikolayevich VARLAMOV (fiction writer from Russia; born in Moscow, 1963) is assistant professor of Russian literature at Moscow State University and is considered one of them most interesting contemporary writers in Russia. Still in his early 30s, he has has already received considerable recognition in Russia's literary circles. He was a winner of the Anti-Booker Prize in 1995 and recipient of awards from the Moscow magazine Oktyabr (October) and from the German club Lege Artis e V. He has written three books and has published short stories prolifically in Moscow as well as in Germany and Japan. His works are also forthcoming in Great Britain and the Netherlands. He is a graduate of the Department of Russian language and literature of Moscow State University and is now one of the leading specialists in the department. He has served as visiting professor at the University of Rostock (Germany) and the University of Ghent. In addition to English and his native Russian, he speaks Spanish and French. He is at the IWP on a grant from the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /ah LEK seh/ /nee ko LY yeh veech/ /farl YAH moff/

Monica VELASQUEZ (poet, essayist, literary critic from Bolivia; born in La Paz, 1972) is a rising young writer whose latest book of poetry, "Tres nombres para un lugar" ('Three Names for a Place'), has garnered excellent reviews. Her book reviews, which run in major local newspapers, have a wide following. She has taken part in international literary conferences, including a fellowship to the University of Alicante (Spain), where she led a three-month seminar on Bolivian poetry, and the "Jalla" conference in Argentina, one of the most important annual events in Latin American literature. Velasquez now teaches at San Andres National University in La Paz, where she is also doing graduate work. She is at the IWP through the US Information Agency. Her surname is pronounced /veh LAS kez/

Aura Maria VIDALES Ibarra de Guerrero (poet from Mexico; born in Mexico City, 1958) is deeply engaged in the Mexican cultural scene, as a television reporter-journalist, the organizer of many cultural events and literary gatherings and one of the leading poets of her generation. Among her numerous involvements, Vidales was previously curator at the National Autonomous University of Mexico's Museum del Chopo and a founder of the newspaper Question. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies both in her country and in the United States. Her publications include these poetry collections: "Ensueno" ('Illusions'; 1984), "Poemario: Balada para un viento suave" ('Poems: Ballades for a Gentle Wind'; 1990), "Cantos para el guerrero" ('Poems for the Warrior'; 1997), and a forthcoming collection of poems for children. She is the first holder of a scholarship from the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CNCA) to write poetry, and she is a founding member of the World Association of Women Journalists and Writers (AMPE). She received the BA in journalism from Mexico's National School of Journalism, and has taken various advanced courses in democracy and human rights. The US Information Agency is supporting her IWP participation. Her name is pronounced /OW rah/ /vee DA les/.