It’s not quite the same as going to Hollywood — although, from a craft-development perspective, perhaps it’s better. In the past, Ahmed Alaidy, Hamdy al-Gazzar, Amina Zaydan, Ghada Abdel Aal, Yasser Abdellatif, and Mona Prince have all been part of the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program. This year, participants include Egyptian Khaled al-Berry, Kuwaiti author Taleb al-Refai, and Saudi Beirut39 laureate Abdullah Thabit, among others:
The writers — there are 30 of them this year — will gather in Iowa City for this 10-week residency to 1) work on their own projects, to 2) give readings and lectures, and to 3) interact with American audiences and literary communities across the U.S.
Should be fun; isA also productive.