University of Iowa News Release
March 2, 2006
Ninth Issue Of IWP's 91st Meridian Journal Is Now Accessible On-line
The Winter 2006 issue of 91st Meridian, the free literary journal published on-line by the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa, may now be accessed at www.uiowa.edu/~iwp/91st/index.html or www.91stmeridian.org.
Editor Natasa Durovicova comments, "As always, the contributions straddle genres, languages, terrains, modes . . . and this time around, even millennia."
"Without exactly being intended, a theme emerged for this issue: imperial languages and their vernacular lives. After all, the span of a language measures not only the geopolitics of its reach but also the timeline of its influence. English today is the global lingua franca that Latin and ancient Greek once were, but in its day seemed to be no less a vernacular than its rival Welsh, or than modern Greek is today."
The new issue features:
--Translations by Paul Merchant from Latin, Welsh and Greek.
--Translations by Adrienne Ho, setting Latin into the current vernacular, and transforming the post-colonial English of 2005 IWP participant Mani Rao into Latin.
--Poetry by French-Canadian Nathalie Stephens, introduced by Cole Swensen.
--Tomislav Kuzmanovic's translation from Croatian Suzana Abspoel Djadjo's first novel "Snajper."
--Two-time IWP veteran Josef Haslinger tracing the shift from one kind of literary culture to another in present-day Austria and Germany.
--Kyoko Yoshida tracing her metamorphosis from a Japanese student to an American writer.
--A postcard from Uriel Quesada, traveling from New Orleans to Iowa City and back to New Orleans.
This is the ninth issue of 91st Meridian, and all the previous issues are also accessible at the website.
The IWP presents this electronic forum to encourage the frank exchange of views. The opinions are those of the individual writers and should not be understood to represent the opinions or views of the UI or the IWP.
The IWP, which functions as a United Nations of writers, stresses the common interests of writers everywhere, in an atmosphere that puts political differences into perspective. For writers who live under repressive regimes, the IWP has provided an unprecedented opportunity to write, speak and interact freely.
Through the residency communities it assembles, the IWP introduces talented writers to American life, enables them to take part in American university life and provides them with time -- in a setting congenial to their efforts -- for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more than a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP, including poets, fiction writers, dramatists, screenwriters and non-fiction writers.
The UI is the nation's premier center for creative writing. On campus, the writers become part of the UI's uniquely rich literary life, which includes not only the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, but also the graduate program in creative non-fiction, the Translation Workshop and the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
The writers also contribute to an undergraduate course, "International Literature Today," attend readings, collaborate with students in the UI Translation Workshop, visit literature classes, learn firsthand about Iowa's rural heritage, attend performances in Hancher Auditorium and interact with faculty and students in a variety of academic departments.
But participants in the IWP do not take classes at the UI, and no degree is conferred by the program. All the activities offered by the IWP are optional, and the writers are free to use their time as they wish, to write, interact or conduct research.
Giving and attending talks and readings, and meeting with well-known and emerging visiting American writers gives the international writers broad exposure to currents in American literature. Each writer is also provided the opportunity to present his or her work in a public forum, and many of these events are broadcast on television or radio, and through the IWP many visiting writers have been able to arrange English-language translation and publication.
IWP writers are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The activities of the IWP are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.
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