Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 22, 2006

IWP Participants From England And Indonesia Will Read Oct. 8

Poet Mimi Khalvati (photo, left) from England and fiction writer/essayist Nukila Amal (photo, right) from Indonesia, now in residence with the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be joined by UI post-graduate writing fellow Kiki Petrosino in a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Amal's short-story collection "Laluba" was named Best Literary Work of the Year for 2005 by Tempo magazine. Her novel "Cala Ibi" was shortlisted for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award and was hailed as "one of the pinnacles of Indonesian contemporary literature." She is the co-translator/editor of several anthologies of poetry in translation, and she serves on the Committee of Literature at the Jakarta Arts Council. She is at the IWP through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Khalvati was born in Tehran, grew up on the Isle of Wight and was educated in Switzerland and London. Her poetry collections include "Mirrorwork" (1995), which received an Arts Council Writers' Award, "Selected Poems" (2000) and "The Chine" (2002). She is also the author of a children's book, "I Know a Place," published in 1985. She participates in the IWP as the recipient of the William B. Quarton International Writing Program Scholarship.

Khalvati has identified the basis of her poetic interest in her peculiar personal history. "The roots of my interest I think must be in my particular relationship with the English language," she said. "Having been sent to an English boarding school at the age of six, speaking only Farsi, I needed to learn English urgently, if only to know where to go, what to do, and be in the swim of things. I have never taken language for granted."

Petrosino graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001, spent the next two years teaching English and Italian at an American boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland, and attended the University of Chicago -- where her thesis, a manuscript of original poems, "Star Silo," received the Catherine Ham Best Thesis Award -- before coming to the UI to study in the poetry section of the Writers' Workshop.

Amal and Khalvati are among the 29 writers, representing 22 countries, in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies of all the writers are accessible on the IWP website,

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 310-430-1013;