34 writers from 21 countries join the International Writing Program this semester

BY DI STAFF | AUGUST 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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This week, 34 writers from 21 countries and territories traveled to Iowa City in an effort to prove that borders don’t matter in this literary city.

All the writers will participate in the International Writing Program, which includes a 10-week fall residency.

The program was originated in 1967 by Paul Engle and wife novelist Hualing Nieh, who were determined to provide a support system for writers no matter where they originated.

For the first year ever, the residency will include participants from Yemen, Bahrain, and Burundi.

Multimedia artist Patrícia Portela will also join the elite group as the first writer from Portugal to be a part of the program since 1968.

In addition to her residency, Portela will be the first IWP Community Engagement Fellow, in which she will blog about her experience and work with the Iowa City community.

There will be free public events every week throughout the semester featuring the writers.

The first will be Sunday readings beginning at 4 p.m. Sept. 1 at Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St. Another will be a Wednesday night Cinémathèque — an international film screening and discussion series.

At 4 p.m. on Sept. at Prairie Lights, IWP residents Dmitry Golynko of Russia and Lili Mendoza of Panama will be joined by Nonfiction Writing Program student Olivia Dunn. Admission is free.

— by Samantha Gentry

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