CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 27, 1999
International Writing Program welcomes 10 writers from
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa International
Writing Program (IWP) will host 10 writers from eight countries during the
1999 fall semester. The group includes the IWP's first representative from
the Republic of Georgia, the 114th country from which writers have traveled
to participate in the program during its 32 years of existence.
At least four additional writers will visit the UI
at different times during the spring semester.
Two free public readings by the IWP writers have been
scheduled: at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10 and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 in the
Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.
A panel discussion is being developed for presentation
at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14 in Room 304 of the English-Philosophy Building.
At 7 p.m., the writers will be invited to share their work in a free open
mike reading on the Sun Porch of the Iowa Memorial Union.
The public is invited to meet and welcome the writers
at a Labor Day picnic at 4 p.m. Sept. 6 in Shelter #2 of Upper City Park in
Iowa City. The picnic, sponsored by CIVIC (Council for Visitors to Iowa Cities),
will feature barbecued pork and lamb provided by Mercantile Bank. Attendees
are encouraged to bring a covered dish or dessert. Those who plan to attend
must RSVP by Sept. 1 to 335-0351 or 644-2746.
During the visit, the writers will also attend readings,
interact with the Translation Workshop, visit literature classes, learn firsthand
about Iowa's rural heritage, meet with an American publisher, attend performances
in Hancher Auditorium, and interact with faculty and students in a variety
of academic departments.
Seven writers supported by the United States Information
Agency -- Konstantine Kubaneishvili of Georgia, Jerzy Jarniewicz and Slawomir
Pokraka of Poland, Gleb Shulpyakov of Russia, Titilola Shoneyin of Nigeria,
Nguyen Thi Chau Giang of Vietnam and Zakaria Mahmoud of the West Bank -- will
arrive on campus Sept. 5 and will be in residence through Sept. 17.
Poland's Halina Cieplinska-Bitner will be in residence
Sept. 8 through Nov. 5 through the support of the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation,
and two additional writers -- Luljeta Lleshanaku of Albania and Mirela Ramona
Ciupag of Romania -- will be in residence at the UI Oct. 28 through Dec. 4
with the support of CEC/ArtsLink.
The IWP is a unique residency program that brings
together the writers of the world. Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first
international writers' residency at a university, and it remains unique in
world literature. The IWP brings established writers of the world to the UI,
where they become part of the lively literary community on campus. Over the
years, nearly a thousand writers from more than 100 countries have completed
residencies in the program.
Oversight of the IWP was recently moved to the Office
of the Vice President for Research for the 1999-2000 academic year. The program
is currently under review by a task force composed of faculty and staff. The
task force will develop recommendations regarding the future of the program
and plans to submit its report to UI President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost
Jon Whitmore by Oct. 1.
To learn more about the IWP, visit the program's site
on the World Wide Web: http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp.
* * *
1999 INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM
supported by USIA, Sept. 5 - 17
Georgia: (Mr.) Konstantine KUBANEISHVILI poet, playwright,
Poland: (Mr.). Jerzy JARNIEWICZ poet, translator,
(Mr.) Slawomir POKRAKA fiction writer,
Nigeria: (Ms.) Titilola SHONEYIN poet, fiction
Russia: (Mr.) Gleb SHULPYAKOV poet,
Vietnam: (Ms.) Nguyen Thi Chau GIANG poet, fiction
West Bank: (Mr.) Zakaria MAHMOUD poet, novelist,
supported by the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation, Sept.
8 - Nov. 5
Poland: (Ms.) Halina CIEPLINSKA-BITNER poet, playwright,
supported by CEC/ArtsLink, Oct. 28 - Dec. 4
Albania: (Ms.) Luljeta LLESHANAKU poet
Romania: (Ms.) Mirela Ramona CIUPAG poet
Suggested Pronunciation Guide
Halina Cieplinska-Bitner /ha LEE nah/ /chep WIN ska/
Mirela Ramona Ciupag /tsee YOO pahg/
Nguyen Thi Chau Giang /NGOO yen/ /tee/ /chow/ /GYANG/
(hard initial g)
Jerzy Jarniewicz /YEH zhee/ /yahr NEE yeh veets/
Konstantine Kubaneishvili /koo bah neysh VEE lee/
Luljeta Lleshanaku /lool YET tah/ /lesh ah NAH
Zakaria Mahmoud /zah KAR yah/ /mah-MOOD/
Slawomir Pokraka /slah foh MEER/ /poh KRAH kah/
Titilola Shoneyin /tee tee LAW lah/ /SHO ney yeen/
(she wants to be known as "Lola")
Gleb Shulpyakov /SHOOL pee ah KOFF/
1999 INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM
Halina CIEPLINSKA-BITNER (translator, poet, essayist, born in Lodz, Poland) is a freelance translator and critic for American and British literature and works for publishing houses, literary magazines, radio and television, and theaters. Her 25 books of translations include H.D. Thoreau's "Walden" /1991/ - which received the 1992 Annual Award from the Association of Polish Translators, for the most outstanding literary translation in essay genre - and critical essays on the transcendental movement, as well as numerous Polish translations of novels by authors ranging from Philip Roth, Jerzy Kosinski and Don DeLillo to John Hawkes. She also is an author of a play "A Cheap Alibi".
Mirela Ramona CIUPAG (poet, Romania; born 1972, Miliasi)
teaches philosophy, logic, economics, psychology and civic education at the
R. Cernauti High School in Iasi. She holds the B.A. in philosophy from Al.
I. Cuza University, with research specialization in the philosophy of Benedetto
Croce. She is the author of an unpublished poetry collection, "Tight Fists,"
her poems and essays have appeared in the Iasi literary magazine, Outopos.
Her poetry is described as allusions to the deeper emotions underneath quotidian
concerns, often using irony. She created a documentary, "Thresholds," broadcast
on Romania National Television. She is attending the IWP as a Fellow of ArtsLink
Residencies, and she will be at the University of Iowa from late October through
early December. Her surname is pronounced /tsee YOO pahg/.
Nguyen Thi Chau GIANG (poet, short story writer, Vietnam;
born 1975, Hanoi) is a writer and editor at Kim Dong Publishing House, Ho
Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At 24 years of age, Gang is already recognized nationally
as one of the most prominent young authors in Vietnam. She started writing
when she was four years old and has published nine volumes of short stories
(three have won national awards) and many short stories and poems in literary
journals and magazines. In her works, she tends to focus on the complexities
of modern life typical of a developing society, such as family breakdown and
generational conflicts, social disorders, and the feelings of human solitude
now plaguing many Vietnamese youth. Her writing tries not only to raise the
reader's awareness of these problems, but also seeks ways to cope with them.
In addition, Gang is a well-known painter whose works have been included in
national as well as international exhibitions. Recent publications of short
stories include "The Game," 1999; "Childhood Summer," 1997 (National Award);"
Short Hair," 1997 (National Award); "Sleepless," 1997; "The Beautiful Blue
Bird," 1996; and "Love Market," 1996. Her participation in the IWP is supported
by the US Information Agency. Her name is pronounced /NGOO yen/ /tee/ chow/
/GYANG/ (hard g)
Jerzy JARNIEWICZ (poet, translator, literary critic, Poland;
born 1958, Lowicz) is Professor of English at Lodz University and Warsaw University.
He is a literary critic and translator for a literary monthly devoted to European
literature and a literary critic as well for Tygodnik Powszeckny, a Krakow-based
weekly. He speaks five languages (Polish, French, German, Russian, and English)
and has translated more than 20 books, including Philip Roth's "Deception
and Patrimony;" Edmund White's "A Boy's Own Story," and Seamus Heaney's essays.
In addition, he has published for book of poetry in Polish and written various
essays on American and British poetry and on contemporary Polish literature.
Jarniewicz is currently working on a book on contemporary poetry. During his
stay in the United States, he would like to meet poets and literary critics
whose work is especially interesting to him: Thom Gunn (San Francisco), Paul
Muldon (Princeton), Robert Pinsky and Derek Walcott (Boston), Marjorie Perloff
(Stanford), and Helen Vendler (Harvard). He would also like to interview Philip
Roth. Jarniewicz has an interest in contemporary art and hopes to visit the
Museum of Modern Art at the Guggenheim Museum. The US Information Agency is
providing Mr. Jarniewicz's grant to the IWP. His name is pronounced /YEH zhee/
/yahr nee YEH veets/.
Konstantine KUBANEISHVILI (poet, playwright, and translator,
Georgia; born 1951, Tbilisi) is a freelance professional poet and writer;
translator of Russian writers, among them Maiakowski and Mandelshtam; and
host of a radio program in Tbilisi, "Darchi Norchi" (Stay Young). He is also
a playwright at the State Rustaveli Theatre and Youth Theatre. Among his publications
are "Damoukidebloba" (Independence) with A. Darchashvili, 1999; poems in XX
Century (the Georgian literary journal), 1998; German folk ballad translations,
1997; and a selection of English sonnet translations, 1997. Kubaneishvili
has been the most active and outspoken player in the changing world of Georgian
poetry in the past decade. He appeared on the literary scene in 1990 with
his book "Reaktiuli Klubi" (The Reactive Club), which is a collection of poems
and radio plays. His poetry touches upon general issues of mankind, as well
as describing everyday routine. Also reflected in his poetry are the tensions
in the political and public life of Georgia. With the release of his book
came T-shirts with logos and slogans distributed widely among young people
and the general public. Kubaneishvili also translates the works of international
writers and poets, and through poetry and performance uses his fluency in
English, Russian, and Germanas well as in Georgianto make provocative
statements about humanity and world civilization at the dawn of the new millennium.
Kubaneishvili is the IWP's first representative from the Republic of Georgia.
He is attending the IWP through a grant from the US Information Agency. His
surname is pronounced /koo bah neysh VEE lee/.
Luljeta LLESHANAKU (poet, Albania; born 1968, Elbasan)
is the author of four poetry collections, including"Sytw e somnambulws" (1993);
"Kwmbanat e sw djelws" (1995); and "Gysëmkubizëm," which received
the 1996 best book of the year award from the Eurprolindja Publishing House.
Her American translator, Henry Israeli, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop,
was responsible for the publication of some of Luljeta's work in US publications
including Grand Street and the Seneca Review. Her poetry has appeared in publications
in Germany, Austria, France, as well as anthologies including "Modern Poetry
in Translation" and the Italian-Albanian anthology "Mediterraneo". She also
writes reviews and critical studies. Lleshanaku was educated in literature
at the University of Tirana, and was chief editor for the weekly magazine
Voice of Youth, and subsequently worked in Drita, her country's oldest and
largest cultural magazine. She is currently employed in the daily newspaper
Rilindja. She is publishing a collection of reviews and essays and is translating
John Ashbery's poetry in Albanian. Her participation in the IWP is supported
by ArtsLink Residencies. She will take part in the program from the end of
October through early December. Her name is pronounced /lool YET tah/ /lesh
ah NAH koo/.
Zakaria MAHMOUD (poet, novelist, playwright; sculptor,
Palestinian; born 1951, Al-Zawiyeh) is a writer and senior editor for Al Karmel
(a cultural quarterly magazine) and weekly columnist and editorial consultant
for Al Ayyam (a daily newspaper) in Ramallah, West Bank.). In the past he
has also held editorships at five other daily, weekly, and quarterly periodicals.
His publications include "A Celebration at Alla Mo ´Tee Citadel" (a collection
of plays currently in press); "When the Animals were Silenced" (children's
story), 1998; "The Blank Eye" (novel), 1996; and "The Horse Passes Askidar"
(poetry). In 1997, his sculpture was on exhibit at the Al-Sakakini Cultural
Center. Muhammad is a highly respected writer and Al Karmel, the cultural
journal he edits, is widely distributed throughout the Arab world. He belongs
to a new genre of Palestinian poets who are focusing more on personal experience
rather than reacting to their political surroundings (the old school of commitment
literature). In addition to his skills as a writer, Muhammad would like to
become involved in the development of a strong publishing industry in the
West Bank. The US Information Agency is supporting his participation. His
name is pronounced /zah KAR yah/ /makh MOOD/.
Slawomir POKRAKA (journalist, short story writer, and
essayist, Poland; born 1974, Lublin) writes for the Echo Ziemi Lubartowskiej
(local daily) in Lubartow. At a very young age he has recently published "Palimpsest,"
"Wall," and other short stories in Akcent (cultural quarterly); "Final Thing"
in Tworczosc (national Literary magazine), 1997; "After-image and Other Miniatures"
and "What are the Limits of Civil Obedience?" in Scriptores Scholarum (Liblin
cultural magazine), 1997; and "Old Woman" in Attempt (university magazine),
1996. His short stories, published in regional and national cultural periodicals,
are a valuable voice of his young generation and a reflection of life in the
small town and rural areas of southeastern Poland. Pokraka would like to learn
about young American literature, logic and literature, and American literary
periodicals during his stay in this country. He is attending the IWP on a
grant from the US Information Agency. His name is pronounced /slah foh MEER/
/poh KRAH kah/.
Titilolah Alexandrah Atinuke SHONEYIN (poet, short story
writer, scriptwriter, Nigeria; born 1974 in Ibadan) started writing at an
early age. Now, at 25, her poetry and fiction have received four National
Awards from the Association of Nigerian Authors. Her first poetry collection,
"So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg" (Ovalonian House, 1998) was followed
by a second, unpublished collection, "Matters of Grave Persistence," which
received the first prize in the competition of the Ono chapter of ANA. She
is currently editor of the Ovalonion Publishing House and marketing manager
for the literary journal, Glendora Review. A former student of IWP alumnus
Niyi Osundare, Lola holds the MA in literature from the University of Ibadan
and the BA (Honors) in English from Ogun State University. Her poetry, newspaper
articles and scripts for television sitcoms are popular; and her poems and
short fiction have appeared in Glendora Review, the Association of Nigerian
Authors Review, and in various Nigerian newspapers and magazines. She plans
to establish an non-governmental organization and creative writing school,
Rising World, that will stimulate and encourage other young writers. The US
Information Agency is providing the grant for her participation in the IWP.
Her name is pronounced /tee tee LAW lah/ /SHO ney yeen/
Gleb Yuryevich SHULPYAKOV (essayist, translator, poet,
Russia; born 1971, Moscow Oblast) is editor-in-chief for poetry in Novaya
Yunost (New Youth) Literary Magazine and reviewer for Ex-Libris, a book review
supplement in Nezavisimaya Gazeta (daily newspaper). He is the author of numerous
essays and articles about literature and a translator of contemporary British
and American poetry. Shulpyakov represents the best and the brightest of a
new literary generation that is seeking greater cultural contact with the
outside world while remaining true to its Russian literary roots. Only 28
years old, Shulpyakov has already established a strong reputation as a rising
star in the Russian literary landscape. His verse has been published in the
most prestigious Russian literary journals such as Novy Mir, Evezd', Strelet',
Volga and Arion. He is interested in contemporary American literature and
major book reviews. He is attending the IWP through the US Information Agency.
His surname is pronounced /SHOOL pee ah KOFF/.