Zell Family Foundation Gives $50 Million for Creative Writing
March 7, 2013
Contact: Kelly Cunningham, University of Michigan, (734) 936-5190, email@example.com
University of Michigan receives $50 million from Zell Family Foundation, led by alumna Helen Zell, for Creative Writing Program
Largest donation in history of U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Nationally recognized program producing award-winning authors
ANN ARBOR---Chicago philanthropist Helen Zell donated $50 million to the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts---the largest gift in the college’s history, the university announced today. The donation was made through the Zell Family Foundation, for which Zell serves as executive director.
The $50 million gift will permanently fund the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program for which Zell, a U-M alumna, initially committed $10 million in seed funding starting in 2004. The program, established in 1982, used Zell’s previous donation to fuel its growth and, in the past nine years, has earned recognition as one of the top writing programs in the country.
Alumni from the MFA program have published hundreds of books, and these works have achieved recognition from The New York Times, Oprah’s Book Club and nearly every other prestigious writing award. (Visit www.lsa.umich.edu/english/grad/alumni/MFA.asp for afull list).
The new gift brings Zell’s full financial contribution to the program to more than $60 million. In recognition of her support, U-M is renaming the program the Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
"The goal of this MFA program is twofold -- to ease the financial burdens of talented budding authors so they have time to write, and to teach them the skills that will help them refine their voice," Zell said. "Books have the power to inspire and change people, to create action, to generate movements, and to better understand those qualities that are uniquely human. We want to capture important stories that might otherwise go untold."
The Creative Writing Program at U-M comprises two years of study, as well as a post-graduate year for qualifying students in the form of "Zellowships" dedicated just to writing. The program provides 22 students with more than $1 million of financial support each year through tuition waivers, stipends and health insurance.
More than 1,000 students apply to this highly competitive program each year; only 22 are selected. The curriculum includes writing workshops where students read and comment on each others’ works in progress and a visiting writer series, in which published authors hold individual consultations with students, give lectures and present readings. In addition, the Program brings in agents and editors to provide students with exposure to the publishing business, as well as with a stage from which they can showcase their work.
"Helen Zell is a patron of writing at the University of Michigan," said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. "This is a transformative gift in the humanities, and one that builds on the Michigan literary legacy of Avery Hopwood and the Hopwood Awards. Helen is changing the lives of writers and providing the means for important works to be written, enriching the literary landscape. Her support of fiction and poetry is a commitment to the written word, which allows readers to explore, provides intellectual awakening, and stirs the imagination."
The award-winning authors from the MFA program have produced memoirs, fiction and poetry. Among their extensive ranks are:
Elizabeth Kostova, author of "The Historian," which became the first debut novel to hit number one on The New York Timesbestseller list in its first week.
Hanna Pylväinen, who took advantage of the program to write her first novel, "We Sinners," about conservative religion in the contemporary United States. The book won a Whiting Writers’ Award last year.
Jesymn Ward, who won the 2011 National Book Award for her second novel, "Salvage the Bones," about a Mississippi family during Hurricane Katrina.
Nigerian author and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan, who wrote "Say You’re One of Them," a collection of short stories giving voices to the poverty and violence in Africa. The book was named the No. 1 fiction book in 2008 by Entertainment Weekly and was the first short-story collection selected by Oprah’s Book Club in 2009.
Laura Kasischke, alumna and program faculty member won the National Book Critics Circle Award for the poetry collection "Space, in Chains," in 2012.
"Without the Zell Postgraduate Fellowship, 'We Sinners' would have been banished to the bottom of my to-do list, which is to say, it might not have been written at all," Pylväinen said. "To have someone preemptively believe in you and invest in you is a remarkable thing. It encouraged me to take my own work seriously and to see that it could have relevance outside the academy." Pylväinen is now working on her second novel.
Zell, a 1964 graduate of U-M’s Department of English Language and Literature, is pleased that her bookshelves are now lined with works generated from the MFA program.
"What a prized collection," Zell said. "The caliber and volume of product are amazing. Michigan is serving as a platform from which these talented writers are launching successful literary careers. And, we, as readers, are the ones who really reap the rewards."
Zell became involved with the program in 2001,when she endowed the department’s first visiting professorship in fiction. That seat drew visiting professor Nancy Reisman to campus in 2001 as the first Helen Herzog Zell Professor. Reisman’s 2004 debut novel, "The First Desire," was named a 2004 New York Times Notable Book and received the 2005 Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers from the Foundation for Jewish Culture.
At Zell’s request, her professorship will be renamed the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professorship, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents. The change is designed to honor Delbanco, the Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature, and one of the first directors of the program. He continues to teach in the program.
"This is both a transformative and enduring gift, an act of great faith in and generosity towards those young artists who embrace the work of words," Delbanco said.
"Helen’s gift puts writers exactly where they want to be—at their desks, with no commitments but those they make to their art," said Michael Byers, director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. "From these desks, a great wealth of language and storytelling is emerging, and those stories will continue to inform and enlarge our sense of the world for decades to come."
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The Helen Zell Writers’ Program is a two-year graduate program in creative writing leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. Students concentrate in either fiction or poetry. Applicants must submit portfolios of their writing in one of these genres, and should have sufficient training in literature to succeed in courses at the graduate level. We select students with demonstrated talent and expose them to a variety of approaches to the craft of writing.
The Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan has long been recognized as one of the top English departments in the nation. As one of the largest departments within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), English serves as an extraordinary center of creativity, inquiry, and discovery with a proud tradition of leadership in scholarship and teaching. With over eighteen thousand alumni, eight hundred active students, and nearly three hundred full-time faculty members, lecturers, and graduate student instructors, the Department offers not only opportunities for study of all aspects of English language and its literature, but also a well-developed, diverse, and active community within the University.
The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is U-M’s largest college, offering a liberal arts curriculum through more than 100 degree programs spanning 75 academic units. More than 40 programs are ranked in the top 10 nationally, and five are ranked No. 1. As the primary undergraduate college at U-M, LSA is also at the heart of U-M's ranking as the No. 6 university for teaching in the United States. LSA has 19,000 students and 200,000 living alumni. For information about LSA: http://lsa.umich.edu
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Paisley Rekdal and francine j. harris 2013 Tufts Finalists
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is pleased to announce this year's finalists for the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. The awards are among the world's richest and most distinguished prizes for poetry.
The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually for a book by a poet who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the pinnacle of his or her career. Finalists for 2013 are:
• Marianne Boruch, The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press). Boruch, a professor of creative writing and poetry at Purdue University, is the author of seven collections of poetry: View from the Gazebo; Descendant; Moss Burning; A Stick That Breaks and Breaks; Poems: New & Selected; and Grace, Fallen from. She has also written two volumes of essays on poetry, and a memoir.
• Edward Haworth Hoeppner, Blood Prism (Ohio State University Press). Hoeppner directs the creative writing program at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. His previous books of poetry are Rain through High Windows and Ancestral Radio.
• Paisley Rekdal, Animal Eye (University of Pittsburgh Press). Rekdal is an associate professor of English at the University of Utah. She is the author of three previous poetry collections: The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, A Crash of Rhinos, and Six Girls Without Pants, as well as a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee.
The Kate Tufts Discovery Award is presented annually for a first book by a poet of genuine promise. Finalists for 2013 are:
• Rebecca Morgan Frank, Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon Poetry). Frank is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, the Georgia Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and editor of the online magazine Memorious.
• francine j. harris, Allegiance (Wayne State University Press). Harris has recent work appearing in Rattle, B O D Y, Southern Indiana Review, and Meridian. Originally from Detroit, she currently works with young people through Citywide Poets and lives in Ann Arbor.
• Heidy Steidlmayer, Fowling Piece (Triquarterly Books). Steidlmayer’s poems have appeared in Literary Imagination, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, River City, and TriQuarterly. She lives in Northern California.
The panel of final judges were Linda Gregerson, poet, professor of English language and literature at the University of Michigan, and past Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award recipient; David Barber, poet and poetry editor of the Atlantic Monthly; Kate Gale, poet, novelist, and managing editor of Red Hen Press; Ted Genoways, award-winning poet and journalist; Carl Phillips, poet, professor of English and African and Afro-American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and past Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award recipient.
"We received an impressive range of work this year and we found ourselves with an embarrassment of riches," chief judge Gregerson said. "We deeply admire and respect the work of these finalists and we are thrilled and delighted to announce these honors."
Winners will be announced in March and recognized during a ceremony at Claremont Graduate University in April.
Timothy Donnelly of Brooklyn, NY, received last year’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for The CloudCorporation. Katherine Larson, a biologist from Arizona, received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Radial Symmetry.
The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, now in its 21st year, was established at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts to honor the memory of her husband, who held executive positions in the Los Angeles Shipyards and wrote poetry as his avocation. The Kate Tufts Discovery Award was launched at in 1993.
About Claremont Graduate University
Founded in 1925, Claremont Graduate University is the graduate university of the Claremont Colleges. Our five academic schools conduct leading-edge research and award masters and doctoral degrees in 24 disciplines. Because the world’s problems are not simple nor easily defined, diverse faculty and students research and study across the traditional discipline boundaries to create new and practical solutions for the major problems plaguing our world. A Southern California based graduate school devoted entirely to graduate research and study, CGU boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio.
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Hanna Pylväinen Wins a Whiting Writers' Award
Since 1985, the Whiting Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Writers Awards which are given annually to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. The awards, of $50,000 each, are based on accomplishment and promise. Candidates are proposed by nominators from across the country whose experience and vocations bring them in contact with individuals of extraordinary talent. Winners are chosen by a selection committee, a small group of recognized writers, literary scholars, and editors, appointed annually by the Foundation. Both nominators and selectors serve anonymously. The Foundation does not accept applications to the Writers’ Program.
Hanna Pylväinen’s debut novel, We Sinners, was just published this summer by Henry Holt. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a Zell Postgraduate Fellow in Fiction. Her novel, loosely inspired by her own childhood, follows the members of a mid-western family that belong to an orthodox sect of Finnish Lutheranism. Ms. Pylväinen has been the recipient of several residencies including ones at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Djerassi, and in 2011 she was a fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is currently completing her next novel, The End of Drum Time.
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Henry W. Leung Wins Soros Fellowship
Henry W. Leung was born in a village in Guangdong, China as an illegal second child under China’s One-Child Policy. Shortly thereafter, his parents received permission to emigrate to the US. Henry’s father suddenly died, however, leaving his mother alone to raise two small children, first in Honolulu, then in California. Henry, at age 16, was accepted to a writing program in New York hosted by the National Book Foundation. He then earned a BA degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Stanford University, where he also led the university’s first Asian American writers’ workshop. His poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in several respected literary publications, and he has served as a consulting editor to the Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies; as a columnist for the Lantern Review; and as an editor for the Best American Nonrequired Reading. Now an MFA student at the University of Michigan, he is completing a book-length manuscript of poetry while at work on his first novel, which “engages with the martial arts as an American anachronism of spiritualism and tradition.”
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP
Paul and Daisy Soros, Hungarian immigrants and American philanthropists, established their fellowship program for New Americans in December 1997 with a charitable trust of fifty million dollars. Their reasons for doing so were several. They wished to "give back" to the country that had afforded them and their children such great opportunities and felt a fellowship program was an appropriate vehicle. They also felt that assisting young New Americans at critical points in their educations was an unmet need. Finally, they wished to call attention of all Americans to the extensive and diverse contributions of New Americans to the quality of life in this country.
In 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Soros contributed an additional $25 million to the charitable trust that funds their Fellowships for New Americans. For details, see the Wall Street Journal article at the end of this section.
The program of fellowships they shaped has the following characteristics:
It honors and supports the graduate educations of 30 New Americans – permanent residents or naturalized citizens if born abroad; otherwise children of naturalized citizen parents -- each year.
At the time of their selection, fellows must be college seniors or early in the graduate programs for which they request support.
Each fellow receives tuition and living expenses that can total as much as $90,000 over two academic years.
Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States.
Fellows are selected on the basis of merit – the specific criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment -- in annual national competitions.
Candidates apply directly. The program does not depend on recommendations from universities or regional screening. Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process.
Each fellows attends two weekend conferences of fellows. The great majority continue to be involved with the program through regional dinners, service in the selection process for later classes, etc.
Since the founding of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans:
Approximately 12,500 applications have been received and processed.
14 classes of Fellows have been selected, beginning in 1998.
415 Fellows have been appointed: 20 in the first year and 30 in most subsequent years (the four additional fellows were appointed in 2003, 2007, and 2009).
The 61 current Fellows received undergraduate degrees from 34 different colleges and universities. They are receiving support for graduate study at 22 different universities in 27 different fields of study.
354 former Fellows are now alumni of the program.
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Khaled Mattawa Organizes Tripoli International Poetry Festival
TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL
April 28-30, 2012
The Libyan capital of Tripoli holds its first international poetry festival after the end of the Qaddafi era April 28-30, and will include poets from 12 countries, including Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Britain, the U.S., Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Syria, Algeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, and Libya. The festival will take place at the Dar Al-Faqih Hassan Cultural Center in the Old City of Tripoli.
The festival was organized by Libyan poet and physician Ashur Etwebi, and Khaled Mattawa, a Libyan-American poet and professor of creative writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
United Arab Emirates
Poets' Biographical Notes
Ashur Etwebi was born in Tripoli in 1953. He earned a bachelor’s in medicine from Tripoli University in 1980 and a doctorate from the University of Dublin in 1990. He published several works of poetry including Balcony Poems, Your Friends Passed Along This Way, River of Music, Box of Old Laughs, and On the Knowledge of Creatures and Things. He also published a novel, Dardanin, and several volumes of international poetry translated to Arabic.
Taher Riyad was born Aljiqah in Amman, Jordan in 1956. He worked in publishing until 1990 and since then has devoted himself solely to creative writing. He has published many volumes of poetry including, Wind Lust, Rituals of Folding, Lame Stick, Trees at Leisure, and He Utters According to his Whims.
Carolyn Forche (b. 1950) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1976 for her first collection, Gathering the Tribes. Her third book, The Angel of History (1994) won the Los Angeles Times book award, and her most recent book Blue Hour appeared in 2003. She is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (W.W. Norton, 1993). She is now Director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University.
Al-Sanussi Habib was born in 1956 in the town of Huun in southern Libya, where he received his primary education. He moved to Benghazi to study at the college of Belle Lettres at the University of Benghazi and started publishing his writings in national l newspapers and elsewhere in the Arab world, and was involved in editing the Literary Gathering from 1974-1976. The Qaddafi regime imprisoned him from 1976-1988. His published books of poetry include, On Love, Awakening, and Transgression, Trophy, and Sparks of Allowable Life.
Zakaria Mohammed was born on the outskirts of Nablus in 1951 and studied Arabic literature at the Islamic University in Al-Beida in Libya where he was imprisoned in 1973 during the Cultural Revolution and the University of Baghdad, where he completed his studies in 1975. The worked as journalist in Beirut, Amman and Damascus and editor for several years. He currently lives and works in Ramallah. Zakaria Mohammed published several books of poetry and two novels, plays, children's books, as well as important studies in anthropology.
Nujoom Al-Ghanem (born 1962 in United Arab Emirates) is a poet and filmmaker. She received a bachelor’s degree in TV production from Ohio University, and a master’s degree in cinema direction from Griffith University in Australia. Al-Ghanem has published six poetry collections, including Evening of Heaven, No Description for What I’m in, and Angels of Distant Longings. She has produced and directed four films.
Marilyn Hacker (1942) is an American poet, translator and critic. Her books of poetry include Presentation Piece (1974), which won the National Book Award, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986), and Going Back to the River (1990), Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002 (2003), Essays on Departure: New and Selected Poems (2006). She has translated several volumes of poetry from the French by Claire Malroux, Marie Etienne, Venus Khoury Ghatta, Habib Tengour, and Amina Said. In 2009, Hacker won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and in 2010, she received the PEN/Volcker Award for Poetry.
Abdulwahab Al-Mulawah is a Tunisian poet, journalist and playwright. He published several books of poems among them, I Am Always like This, Shreds of Solitude and the One Who Stands Alone. He also published three plays, Strange Happenings, Hot Afternoon, and Talk of the Wind.
Tony Hoagland was born in 1955 and attended Williams College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona. His published works include Sweet Ruin (1992), which won the Brittingham Prize and the Zacharis Award, Donkey Gospel (1998), winner of the James Laughlin Award, What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010). Hoagland currently teaches at the University of Houston.
Iman Mersal was born in 1966 in the village of Mit Adlan in the northern Egyptian Delta. Mersal's books include Ittisafat (Characterizations), Mamarr Mu‘tim Yasluh li Ta‘allum al-Raqs (A Dark Hallway Suitable for Dance Lessons), and al-Mashy Atwal Waqt Mumkin (Walking As Long As Possible) in 1997. Her fourth volume, Jughrafia Badila (Alternative Geography) was published in 2006. Mersal has resided in Canada where she is an assistant professor of Arabic at the University of Alberta.
Salem Al-Okley was born in the village of Lalli in the Green Mountains of Libya in 1962. He graduated from the Garyounis University school of agriculture in Al-Beida. He established the cultural journal al-Afriqui and the Derna House of Culture in the city of Derna, which he still heads. He published several volumes of poetry including A Bed at the Edge of the Funeral, Seats for Lovers, and What Laughs within US. He also published two novels, The Beard and Lalli.
Margaret Obank was born in Leeds. She studied philosophy and literature at Leeds University and linguistics at Birkbeck College. She worked in teaching and in printing and publishing for many years. Along with her husband, the Iraqi author Samuel Shimon, Obank was the driving force behind the creation of Banipal magazine, a journal exclusively devoted to publishing English translations of modern Arabic literature. The first issue of Banipal was published in February 1998, and as of 2011, there have been 42 issues.
James Byrne is the editor and co-founder of The Wolf poetry magazine. His debut collection, Passages of Time, was published by Flipped Eye in 2003. His second collection, Blood/Sugar was published by Arc in 2009. He is the co-editor of Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, an anthology of British and Irish poets under 35. He was born in 1977 and lives in London.
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child. Merrill has also published five volumes of non-fiction The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. He is the director of the Iowa University Center for International Writers.
Nii Parkes was born in the UK, in 1974, and raised in Ghana. He is a performance poet, writer and sociocultural commentator. Nii runs regular workshops in the UK and has set up a Writer’s Fund in Ghana to promote writing among the country's youth. He has recorded two CDs of his spoken-word poetry, Incredible Blues and Nocturne of Phrase, and has published three chapbooks of poetry. Nii is also the Senior Editor at Flipped Eye Publishing. His debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, was published by Jonathan Cape in June 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Ulrich Schreiber (born 1951 in Solingen, Germany) is the director of the International Literature Festival in Berlin. He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Russian at the Free University in Berlin from 1973-1981. Prior to founding the Berlin festival, Schreiber founded several festivals all around Germany and Europe.
Rabee Shrair was born in 1979. He is a poet, journalist, and cultural and political activist. He headed and organized several festival and cultural institutions in his native city of Zawiya and other cultural events around Libya. He was the spokesman for the city of Zawiya and was the first to announce its independence from the Qaddafi regime during the revolution last year. He studied at the University of Tripoli and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer programming. He published one book of poetic prose texts, The Captive is the World’s Master, in 2009.
Mariam Salama is a Libyan poet and translator from Tripoli. Her latest work is a book of prose poems titled Forgotten Roses.
Jon Thompson is a professor of English at North Carolina State University where he teaches twentieth-century/contemporary American and British literature. He edits Free Verse Journal and in 2005 launched Free Verse Editions, a publisher of poetry books. His most recent volume of poetry is The Floating World, 2007.
Ahmad Al- Mulla is a poet from Saudi Arabia; he was born in 1962 in the region of Ahssa’. He published several books of poetry including A Shadow Sundered, Light and Bent Like Forgetfulness, An Arrow Whispers my Name, and The Girls Who Wrote Who We Are.
Abdulsalam Al-‘Ujaili is a Libya poet and cultural activist from Derna. He published two volumes of poetry, The Tree of Speech, and Source of the Heart’s Current.
Rasha Umran is a Syrian poet, born in Tartus in 1964. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Damascus in Arabic literature. She published several works of poetry including, A Pain in the Shape of Life, My Body Was my Refuge, Your Shadow Stretched at the End of Longing, and An Empty Red Coat. Her poems have been translated to English, French, and other European languages. She edited the Anthology of Syrian Poetry (1980-2008) and chaired the Sindian Cultural Festival.
Habib Tengour (born 1947) is French-Algerian poet, sociologist and anthropologist. He was born in Mostaganem in eastern Algeria in 1947. The Tengour family moved to France when Habib was five years old. He studied sociology in France and continued his studies in Algeria at Constantine University. Tengour writes mainly in French. His books include Tapapakitaques, la poésie-île, 1976. La Nacre à l'âme, 1981, Ce Tatar-là 2, 1999. L'Arc et la cicatrice, 2006.
Andrea Raos, who was born in Varese in 1968, currently lives in Chicago. He is a leading scholars and translators of Japanese literature in Italy. He edited the anthology of Japanese literature, Chijô no utagoe – Il coro temporaneo, 2001, was an important contribution to Japanese literary studies in Italy and won a Special Prize for Translation from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 2002. He published several volumes of his own poetry.
Matthew Sweeney was born in Lifford, Co. Donegal in 1952, in Ireland. He lived in Berlin and Timisoara from many years before returning to Ireland. Sweeney has published not only many poetry collections for adults but also several poetry collections for children and two children’s novels. He won the Prudence Farmer Prize in 1984, the Cholmondely Award in 1999, a Henfield Writing Fellowship in 1986, and several bursaries from the Arts Councils of from arts councils in Ireland and England. Sweeney has published 15 books of poetry, the most recent volumes are Sanctuary, 2004, Stories, 2006, and Black Moon, 2007, which was nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Suad Salem is a Libyan poet who has several collections, including Coffee as it Roasts. She works in several media outlets and once edited Al-Bait magazine. She also served as consultant to Libya FM radio.
Hawa Al-Gamoudi was born in 1962 in Souq Al-Jum’a, Tripoli. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Science and Mathematics in 1983 and in Arabic language and literature in 1990 from Tripoli University. She worked on the staff of Al-Bait magazine and on the cultural folio in Al-Mu’tamar magazine. She currently edits Al-Amal magazine for children. She published several books of poetry in Libya and participated in several poetry conferences abroad.
Aisha Al-Maghribi is a Libyan poet who has published several books of poetry including, Earnest Things, Confessing my Inner Female, and Princess of Paper. She also published a dramatic text titled The Flower Seller and a book of short stories titled Delusions of Dust.
Saleh Gaderbouh was born in Benghazi in 1975. He has published three books of poetry, A Rosy Explanation of the Whiteness of the Universe, Recitations, and Kiss in a Military Airport.
Embarek Ouassat was born in 1955 in Al-Youssifiya, Morocco. He teaches philosophy in Agadir, and translates from French into Arabic. He has published several collections of poems: On the Steps of Deep Water, Full of Archipelagos The Banner of the Wind, The Hydrogen Butterfly, and The Man who Smiles for the Birds. His distinctive translations came in quick succession, poets such as Fernando Pessoa, Rene Char, and Sangour. This was in addition to his translations of Moroccan poets who wrote in French: Abd al-Latif al-Labi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Muhammad Khayr al-Din.
Muftah al-Amari, a Libya poet born in 1956, is the author of 18 volumes of poetry, prose, and criticism. He participated in many Arab and international poetry festival and conferences in Libya and abroad, and served as a juror in many literary contests. Among his books of poetry is The Book of Stations, A Man Who Walks the Entirety of his Solitude, A Sumptuous Funeral, and Abodes for the Wind.
Festival Organizing Committee:
Ashur Etwebi, Chair
With the cooperation from the Arete Foundation for Culture and Arts.
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