University of Iowa

International Writing Program brings unique talent from around the globe

October 4th, 2018

By Naomi Hofferber and Madison Lotenschtein , The Daily Iowan

Twenty-eight writers from 27 countries. Numerous genres. One program. Enough with the numbers; the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program is all about the words, no matter the language.

“We try to get as diverse a range of writers as possible,” IWP Director Christopher Merrill said. “We read applicants’ work closely and search for those who are engaged in a high level of writing.”

According to the IWP’s website, the program was formed to bring diversity in literature to the university. Since its founding in 1967, the program has welcomed 1,400 writers with geographically diverse backgrounds. In order to participate in the program, the applicant must be able to speak proficient English and have published at least one book. The 11-week residency provides a space for selected artists to immerse themselves in a foreign country and collaborate with a breadth of talented peers.

“The IWP is an essay in diversity, since it brings together writers from so many different places, each of whom reveals that world literature is much larger and stranger than we might imagine,” Merrill said in an email to The Daily Iowan.

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