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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 30, 2011

IWP writers return from their travels to present free events Oct. 5-9

The writers in residence at the University of Iowa International Writing Program will return from a week of travels to present free events Oct. 5-9:

--IWP Cinematheque film series, curated by IWP writers who introduce and lead conversations provoked by the films they have chosen, will continue at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Room E105 of the Alder Journalism Building.

--At 8 p.m. Thursday Oct. 6, in the Shambaugh House, the IWP will host two of China's most important poets, Xi Chuan (photo, left) and Zhou Zan (photo, right), who are on a book tour with a new anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry anthology "Push Open the Window." They will also discuss the state of contemporary literature in China at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in the Shambaugh House.

--A panel discussion, with refreshments, will address "Genre Lit: Bodice Rippers, Aliens and High Form?" at noon Friday, Oct. 7, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

--The Shambaugh House Reading Series will feature writers in residence from Israel at 5 p.m. Oct. 7, with refreshments.

--The joint readings series by IWP residents and students in the UI Master of Fine Arts writing programs will feature the IWP's two 2011 writers from Scotland, novelist and playwright Zoe Strachan and novelist/playwright essayist Louise Welsh, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The Cinematheque screening will present the U.S./French/Haitian short "The Last Poem," directed by Marvin Victor, followed by a rarity, a Burmese feature. "Let's Talk About Love" was directed by filmmaker and activist Cho Tu Zaw, who, like Victor, is part of this year's residency.

"Push Open the Window" brings together more than 100 poems by some of China's most important poets born after 1945. This anthology is part of an international literary exchange between the National Endowment for the Arts and the General Administration of Press and Publication in the People's Republic of China.

Zhou Zan has published poems, criticism, and a translation of Margaret Atwood's poetry. Editor of the prominent women's poetry journal Wings, she was recently a visiting scholar at Columbia University.

Xi Chuan is the author of many prize-winning collections of poetry, essays, and translations. The editor of Dangdai Gouji Shitan (Contemporary Poetry International) and a past participant in the IWP, he has been a visiting professor at New York University and at the University of Victoria. He teaches classical Chinese literature at Beijing Central Art Academy.

Participants in the Friday panel will be fiction writer/essayist/playwright Ogochukwu Promise from Nigeria, fiction writer Phan Hon Nhien from Vietnam, fiction writer and translator Park Chansoon from South Korea, novelist and nonfiction writer Maria Cristoff from Argentina, and novelist Eugenia Rico from Spain.

The Friday Shambaugh House reading will feature fiction writer Moshe Sakal, who regularly reviews books for Haaretz and edits a culture blog, and poet and editor Dory Manor, who teaches in Tel Aviv and edits the Oh! literary journal.

In addition to Strachan and Welsh, the Sunday Prairie Lights reading will feature Master of Fine Arts poetry student Eric Anderson from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

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, University News Services,

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.