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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 13, 2005

Carolyne Wright Reads Translations Of Bengali Poetry Sept. 22

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will present poet and translator Carolyne Wright reading from her translations of Bengali women poets at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sep. 22, in the Shambaugh House at the corner of Clinton and Fairchild streets on the University of Iowa campus.

This reading is the third event in 'Lost and Found in Translation,' a series of readings and lectures by prominent translators, presented this fall by the IWP. A full schedule of the "Lost and Fond" events is included on the IWP website at,

Wright's translations illuminate contemporary women's experience in West Bengal, Bangladesh, and greater South Asia, especially the struggles of Bengali dissidents and women's rights advocates. She has published "Another Spring, Darkness: Selected Poems of Anuradha Mahapatra" and "The Game in Reverse: Poems of Taslima Nasrin." Several other translations are forthcoming.

As a part of her reading, Wright will discuss the representation of culture, particularly women's culture; the challenges of conveying the uniqueness of different poetic voices; the witness that the poetic spirit can bear to current exigencies at home and abroad; and the ways that poetry can re-envision and refigure the world.

Wright spent four years on Indo-U.S. Subcommission and Fulbright senior research fellowships in Calcutta and in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collecting and translating the work of Bengali women poets and writers for an anthology in progress, "A Bouquet of Roses on the Burning Ground." For these translations, she has received a Witter Bynner Foundation Grant, a NEA Grant in Translation and a Fellowship from the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College.

Wright gave a reading from her poetry collection "Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire" last April on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI.

The IWP introduces talented writers to American life; enables them to take part in American university life; and provides them with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP, including poets, fiction writers, dramatists, screenwriters and non-fiction writers.

The IWP, which functions as a United Nations of writers, stresses the common interests of writers everywhere, in an atmosphere that puts political differences into perspective. For writers who live under repressive regimes, the IWP has provided an unprecedented opportunity to write, speak and interact freely.

The IWP is staffed and housed by the UI. IWP writers are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The activities of the IWP are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,