Annual Report 2011

International Writing Program

A teacher in a refugee camp in Africa reads from his story.

Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program, and his colleagues listen to a teacher’s reading in a Dadaab refugee camp in Africa in 2009.

The International Writing Program (IWP) brings outstanding authors from every continent to the University of Iowa. In fall 2010, 38 writers from 32 countries gathered in Iowa City to work on their own projects, to give readings and lectures, to travel in the United States, and to interact with American audiences and the literary community. IWP is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world, with a tradition of literary excellence that has continued for more than four decades.

Since 1967, IWP has brought over 1,200 writers from 130 nations to this country. The primary goal of the IWP is to provide authors with time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, travel, give readings, stage work, and become part of the UI community.

The IWP also offers several undergraduate classes, hosts online courses joining UI students with students overseas in the study of international literature, conducts a summer workshop on campus for young Arabic writers (in conjunction with the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio), and coordinates a variety of overseas exchanges and tours that allow well-established American writers to engage colleagues, students, and literary communities around the world.