International Writing Program

Ben Mauk is a 2012 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who earned a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Germany. In this article, Mauk reflects upon on the work of fellow UI alum, Patrick Reed, who graduated with a Master in Fine Arts in papermaking and bookbinding from the UI Center for the Book in 2013 and also earned a Fulbright Research/Study Grant to Germany.

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The ballerina raises a slender leg, then bounds across the smooth floor. She transforms the lingering notes into movement. The scholar translates a sonnet. “Au revoir” becomes “adiós”; “adiós” becomes “goodbye.” Each interpretation shifts the form while the essence remains. This interpretation will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday as the UI Dance Department performs visual representations of works by International Writing Program residents. The free show will take place in North Hall Space/Place.

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The Japanese program at the University of Iowa will be seeing several improvements thanks to a $350,000 grant from the Japanese Foundation. Sawako Kojima of the Japanese Consulate in Chicago presented the award to UI Associate Provost and Dean Downing Thomas, who accepted the grant on behalf of the UI on Oct. 16.

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Come celebrate with us as Ms. Sawako Kojima, of the Japan Information Center and Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, presents the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support Program in Japanese Studies to the University of Iowa.

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Harry Leeds had expected students to be shy about writing poetry in English, the way any student might be nervous about writing and sharing personal work in a second language. When it came to the 20 Kazakh students in his poetry workshop, however, he was wrong: “Some people didn’t want to share with the group,” Leeds says, “but everyone wrote.”

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Nearly 20 female participants in Manama, Bahrain, and Amman, Jordan, took part in a distance-learning course offered this past spring by the UI's International Writing Program. The course focused on issues of artistic identity while fostering the participants’ authorial voices and building a community of women writers through weekly live video sessions.

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With rising interest in Chinese and South Korean studies, many universities across the U.S. fear waning enrollment in Japanese studies. The UI, however, has managed to buck the trend, with Japanese studies enrollment numbers on the rise the past 3 years.

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The Caribbean, Diaspora, and Atlantic Studies Program will continue their spring 2015 lecture series with a performance talk by UI International Writer's Program alumna Fabienne Kanor entitled, "Another Sea to Cross: A Performance Talk." The performance talk will take place on Wednesday, April 29, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in 2520D University Capitol Centre, and is free and open to the public.

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Originally from Hong Kong, Agnes graduated from the University of Iowa International Writing Program in 2008 as an Honorary Fellow in Writing. Since then, she has accomplished a wide range of achievements. She was awarded the Nosside International Poetry Prize (Special Mention) in 2008 and some of her poems have been translated into German, Italian and other languages.

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My idea was to create the best study abroad creative writing program in the world. That sounds immodest but that was the goal, and I think we do offer an outstanding study abroad experience. It’s an undergraduate program with graduate level expectations. My secret (out now) was to always treat undergraduate students as if they were graduates. They have always done the job. I knew that the University of Iowa was considered number one in America for the writers’ workshop, and I knew we in Ireland had exceptionally talented literature and drama professors. Bringing together the best of both places made the program an instant success.

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