Conference celebrates 50 years of Japanese writers at the International Writing Program

Presented by the Japan Foundation, International Programs, and the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, "A Half-Century of Japanese Writers in Iowa: Writing and Translating at the International Writing Program, 1967-2017," an upcoming international conference, will take place Monday, April 17 to Thursday, April 18 on the UI campus.

Legendary Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu returns to campus to headline a celebration of the Japanese writers who have been in residence at the International Writing Program (IWP) since its founding 50 years ago. A week of readings, lectures, round-table discussions, and performances will feature:

  • three returning IWP alumni
  • translators who have brought multiple IWP authors into English, and
  • two scholars of Kenji Nakagami, the IWP alumnus whom many consider to have been the greatest Japanese writer born after World War II

This celebration also showcases the rise of Japanese studies at the UI and the rich diversity within Japanese literature, which has been on display for half a century at the IWP.

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 17

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | 1117 University Capitol Centre
OPENING RECEPTION AND LECTURES ON NAKAGAMI KENJI (IWP 1982) with Professor Anne McKnight, Shirayuri University, and Professor Eri Watanabe, Shizuoka University
*Lunch provided

7 - 8  p.m. | Shambaugh House
FICTION READING: “Love in Transit: Borderlands in Contemporary Japanese Fiction” with Nori Nakagami (IWP 2002) and Kyoko Yoshida (IWP 2005)

Tuesday, April 18

2 - 3:15 p.m. | 1117 University Capitol Centre
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Sawako Nakayasu and Lisa Samuels discuss their new edited volume, TransPacific Poetics
*Refreshments provided

7 - 8:00 p.m. | Prairie Lights Books
POETRY READING: Gozo Yoshimasu (IWP 1971, 1987, 2004) reads from Alice Iris Red Horse with his translators Forrest Gander, Sawako Nakayasu, and Kyoko Yoshida                      

Wednesday, April 19

4 - 5 p.m. | Shambaugh House
POETRY READING: “More Wet than Water: Two Contemporary Poets” with Forrest Gander and Sawako Nakayasu

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. | Theatre B, UI Theatre Building
POETRY AND MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE: “Gozo: The Medium is the Messenger” with Gozo Yoshimasu, Forrest Gander, Sawako Nakayasu, and Kyoko Yoshida, featuring the Laptop Orchestra with Professor Jean-François Charles, conductor

Thursday, April 20

2:00 - 3:15 p.m. | 318 Phillips Hall
TRANSLATION WORKSHOP: “How Literature Travels: Translators Between Languages” with Gozo Yoshimasu, Forrest Gander, Kyoko Yoshida, Nori Nakagami, and Anne McKnight

6:30 - 9:50 p.m. | 2390 University Capitol Centre
TRANSLATION WORKSHOP SPONSORED BY EXCHANGES: “Translation Deep Dive: Gozo and the Sea of Translators”with Gozo Yoshimasu, Forrest Gander, Sawako Nakayasu, and Kyoko Yoshida 
*Dinner provided

This event is made possible through the generosity of the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support grant to the University of Iowa, with matching funds from International Programs, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and additional support from the MFA in Literary Translation program, the journal Exchanges, and the IWP.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Dongwang Liu at dongwang-liu@uiowa.edu, or  (319) 335-1305.

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