5 October 07 | Chad W. Post

Starting Sunday, the University of Iowa will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the International Writing Program with a host of interesting events.

Everything kicks off Sunday at 5:00 at Prairie Lights where Daniel Weissbort, Matvei Yankelevich, and Michael Judd will be reading.

The complete list of events is available here, and here are a few highlights:

Global Play Collaborative Sunday, October 7 – Monday, October 8
12:00 pm – 12:00 pm (not open to the public)

Playwrights from around the world work together to create a play within a 24-hour period.

Panel: World Lit Net: Writing in the Age of Global Communication
Monday, October 8
12:00 – 1:30 pm
E105 Adler Journalism Building

Editors and writers (Matvei Yankelevich, Michael Orthofer, Chad Post, Cris Mattison, Dedi Felman, and Eliot Weinberger; Russell Valentino and Nataša Durovičová, moderators) discuss the value of the Internet as a tool of dissemination, a locus of literary community, and a potential engine for (or roadblock to) “world literature.”

Reading: Ersi Sotiropoulos, Hamdy el-Gazzar
Monday, October 8
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Prairie Lights

Greek novelist Ersi Sotiropoulos (IWP ’81) reads from her fifth novel, Zig-Zag Through the Bitter Orange Trees. Egyptian novelist and IWP 2007 resident Hamdy el-Gazzar reads from his first novel, Black Magic.

Discussion: The World’s Voice In Our Ear: Influences of World Literature on Writing and Writers
Tuesday, October 9
12:00 – 1:30 pm
140 Schaeffer

Eliot Weinberger, Iowa Review editor David Hamilton, and IWP 2007 resident István László Geher (Hungary) discuss the influence of world literature on their work and on their native literature.

Discussion: Publishing Books in Translation
Tuesday, October 9
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Shambaugh House

Discussion on publishing with Sal Robinson, an editor in the international books division of Harcourt, and Russell Valentino, UI professor and co-founder of Autumn Hill Press, which specializes in translations of foreign-language fiction.

Reception and Retrospective: 40 Years of the IWP
Tuesday, October 9
5:30 – 7:30 pm*
Atrium, UI Art Museum

Guests, including IWP founder Hualing Engle, IWP director Chris Merrill, Daniel Weissbort, Stavros Deligiorgis, and Peter Nazareth share their memories of the IWP.

Panel: Creating and Promoting African Literature
Thursday, October 11
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Meeting Room A, Iowa City Public Library

IWP 2007 residents Tom Dreyer (South Africa) and Peter Kimani (Kenya), along with former UI associate dean Sandra Barkan and Rwandan poet and UNI professor of English Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, discuss the business of writing and literature on the African continent. Moderated by Peter Nazareth, UI professor of English. Co-sponsored by the African Studies Program.

Panel: State of the Art: Literature From Where I Stand
Tuesday, October 11
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Meeting Room A, Iowa City Public Library

IWP 2007 residents James T.C. Na (China/Philippines), Simone Inguanez (Malta), Nirwan Dewanto (Indonesia), Khaled Khalifa (Syria), and Kei Miller (Jamaica) discuss “world perspectives and home literatures.”

Panel: Cultural Diplomacy: The Writer and the World
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Senate Chambers, Old Capitol

Discussion of the roles writers and their advocates play in increasing understanding between cultures. Panelists scheduled to appear include Richard Arndt, author of “First Resort of Kings: US Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century,” former Congressman James Leach, UI professor of English Harry Stecopoulos, and IWP 2007 resident Kavery Nambisan (India).

And this is just a sample. Too bad this is overlapping with the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. Be sure and check out the list of writers in the program this year—it’s very impressive.

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