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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 19, 2011

Oct. 28 IWP panel will address 'Why I Write What I Write'

A half dozen foreign writers in residence at the University of Iowa will address "Why I Write What I Write, and How I Write It" in a free International Writing Program (IWP) panel discussion with pizza at noon Friday, Oct. 28, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. It is just one of a series of free IWP events that week, which includes:

--The Cinematheque series will screen the Palestinian film "The Time That Remains," plus "Peleshian Shorts" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Room E105 of the Adler Journalism Building.
-- The Friday panel will include presentations by Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan, fiction writer/poet Josephine Rowe from Australia, poet/fiction and nonfiction writer Joel Toledo from the Philippines, writer/filmmaker Cho Tu Zaw from Myanmar, Lebanese fiction writer Iman Humaydan, and fiction/nonfiction writer Oonya Kempadoo from Grenada.
--Humaydan and Kempadoo will read at 5 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Shambaugh House, with refreshments.
--Fiction writer Pilar Quintana from Colombia and nonfiction writer Kevin Bloom from South Africa will be joined by Iowa Writers' Workshop fiction student Dina Viergutz in a reading at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, in Prairie Lights Books.

"The Time That Remains," directed by Elia Sulieman, is whimsical, semi-autobiographical examination of the state of Israel from its creation in 1948 through the present day, and the awkward position of Arab-Israelis. View a trailer of this official Cannes Entry at The film will be introduced by Palestinian writer Hind Soufani.

Artavazd Peleshian is a celebrated Armenian filmmaker who creates short film-essays that express a poetic view of life through imagery. The films will be introduced by poet Alexandra Petrova, who was born in Russia and now lives in Italy.

Cinematheque is part of a UI class, but the public is invited to attend.

"Why I Write What I Write, and How I Write It" has become an annual theme for IWP writers, who provide insight into both their writing inspirations and goals, and their writing practices and techniques.

Biographies of all the 2011 IWP writers are accessible at Become a Facebook friend of the IWP at!/pages/International-Writing-Program/39135032067.

The 2011 IWP community of 37 writers from 32 countries includes a mix of fiction writers, poets, translators, essayists, filmmakers, playwrights, journalists, screenwriters, editors, and critics.

The 2011 roster of "the United Nations of Writers" includes the representatives from Argentina, Australia, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Tibet, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature.

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 than 1,200 writers from more than 130 countries have attended the IWP, including Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.

The UI is the nation's premiere center for creative writing, and Iowa City is the only U.S. City of Literature in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Giving and attending talks and readings, and meeting with well-known and emerging visiting American writers give the international writers broad exposure to currents in American literature. All the activities offered by the program are optional for the participants, and the writers are free to use their time as they wish, to write or to conduct research.

The U.S. Department of State is a major source of support for the IWP. The residency also includes writers participating on grants from their domestic cultural organizations.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click on the link "Subscribe or Unsubscribe" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay,