2015 International Writing Program Residents Include Saudi, Egyptian Writers

Two Arab authors are among the “thirty to thirty-five” residents who are now arriving for the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program, set for August 22 – November 10:

iwpThese are not emerging writers, but rather writers who have already achieved “national recognition” in their home countries.

For Egypt, that’s Nael Eltoukhy (@naeleltoukhy). Indeed, he has Egypt-wide recognition, particularly for 2006 (2009) and Women of Karantina (2013). At least one commentator has already foreseen a future Nobel for Eltoukhy, and he was longlisted this year for the first-ever Financial Times ‘Emerging Voices’ Prize, alongside Elias Khoury. His Women of Karantina is available in vivid, fun translation from Robin Moger (2015).

For Saudi Arabia, it’s poet and translator Raed Anis Al-Jishi (@raedaljishi), who has published a novel, seven volumes of poetry in Arabic, and one rather flimsy-feeling collectionBleeding Gull: Look, Feel, Fly (2014), in English. He’s billed, in his IWP bio, as a “feminist and human activist.”

Swedish writer Marie Silkeberg will also participate; although she’s well-known in Sweden for her own work, to ArabLit readers, she’s known for the book she produced with Palestinian-Syrian poet Ghayath al-Madhoun, Til Damaskus, as well as the poetry films the two have made together.

IWP resident writers are expected to “participate in one public reading, as part of one public panel, and at a small number of receptions and other events, and are encouraged to present in the International Literature Today class. Otherwise, the residents’ calendars are dominated by unstructured time, to allow for individual work schedules and goals.”

More about all the 2015 IWP residents:

At the University of Iowa website