St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine selected the first author for the annual “Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship,” the Iraqi novelist and playwright Ali Bader:
The annual residency, which launched this week, is set to continue through April 21.
Bader is the author of thirteen works of fiction, two of which were longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and two of which — Papa Sartre and The Tobacco Keeper — were published in English translation.
When the new annual residency was announced last October, organizers said that visiting writers would be allowed time to read, research, and write, although they would also be expected to “share their work with British audiences.” In the announcement of Bader’s residency, organizer said that “over the course of the three months he will have the opportunity of engaging in a monthly literary activity with writers and readers in Durham, the North East of England, and London, in addition to pursuing his work-in-progress.”
The fellowship, they write, intends to “raise the profile of Arabic writing in the UK in general” and to establish “long-lasting connections between writers in the UK and the Arabic-speaking world.”
This year’s selection panel was made up of St. Aidan College’s Susan F Frenk, novelist Fadia Faqir, and Banipal‘s Samuel Shimon and Margaret Obank. As to applications for next year:
We thank the many writers from all over the Arab world, whose applications to be the first Banipal Visiting Writing Fellow at St Aidan’s College we received. We realise that the application process of this first Fellowship has been rather tight and this will change for 2018 and future years. The timing of the residency itself will remain from approximately mid-January to mid-April, but the call for applications will be made in June each year.