Writer from Afghanistan to read at Library of Congress

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Mon Oct 23 19:06:47 UTC 2006

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Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639, durschel at loc.gov 
Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692


Writers from the distinguished International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will read from their works at the Library of Congress at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC.

The event, jointly sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center and the International Writing Program, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa introduces talented writers to American life, providing them with the time and setting to produce literary work.  The program has welcomed more than 1,000 writers to the United States from more than 100 countries in its nearly 40-year history.

Six writers are scheduled to read: Nukila Amal from Indonesia; Ken Bugul from Senegal; Rafael Courtoisie Beyhaut from Uruguay; Ashur Etwebi from Libya; Doris Kareva from Estonia; and Partaw Naderi from Afghanistan.

Amal is a widely-read novelist, essayist and translator.  Her 2005 short story collection, “Laluba,” was named Best Literary Work of the Year by Tempo Magazine and her novel “Cala Ibi” (2003) was short-listed for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award.  She serves on the Committee of Literature at the Jakarta Arts Council.

Bugul (pen name of Mariètou Mbaye Biléoma) is the author of seven novels.  Her first “Le baobab fou” (“The Abandoned Baobab: Autobiography of a Senegalese 
Woman”), investigated post-colonial identity of a young African woman in Belgium.  Her 1999 novel “Riwan ou le chemin de sable” (“Riwan or the Sandy Track”) was awarded the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire. 

Courtoisie Beyhau is the author of three novels, 16 volumes of poetry and many essays.  He has won both his country's National Prize in Narrative for his first novel “A Dog’s Life” (1997), and the National Prize in Poetry for his 2002 collection “Frontiers of Umbria.”  He teaches screenwriting at the Escuela de Cine del Uruguay in Montevideo.

Etwebi is a physician and senior lecturer at Zawia Teaching Hospital. He has published four collections of poems, most recently "A Box of the Old Laughs" (2005), and his work is widely anthologized in the Arab-speaking world and Europe.

Kareva has published 13 poetry collections, most recently “Shape of Time” (2005).  After winning the State Cultural Prize in 1993, she launched Straw Stipend, which provides publication funding for 10 young Estonian poets.  She currently serves as Secretary General of the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO.

Naderi has published five poetry collections and several prose books of criticism on modern Afghan literature.  He has edited “Zhwandoon Quarterly Magazine,” directed the Art and Cultural Programs section for Radio Afghanistan and reported on current affairs for BBC World Service. Currently, he is with the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Kabul.

The International Writing Program participants are supported by the U.S. Department of State; grants from cultural institutions, governments abroad and private funds; and through bilateral agreements with other countries.  For more information visit www.uiowa.edu/~iwp. 

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policy-makers in Washington.  For more information on fellowships, grants and programs, visit www.loc.gov/kluge.

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