2010 International Writing Program

September 26, 2010

This year, PNCA hosts five writers through the International Writing Program, which since its founding in 1967 at the University of Iowa, has brought together more than 1,000 rising and established literary stars from 120 countries to develop a community of writing to enhance international understanding.

The writers’ week at PNCA includes both immersion in the campus curriculum along with collaborative public programming. The experience provides writers from around the world with a sense of American innovation and openness, and exposes U.S. readers, writers, and artists to international perspectives on the art and process of writing. Participating writers include:

Maxine Case, South Africa; Laura Fish, England; Eduardo Halfon, Guatemala; Farangis Siahpoor, Iran; Tang Ling, China.

For this project PNCA engages cultural and educational partnerships across the city including Marylhurst University, Portland State University, Tin House, Wordstock and World Affairs Council of Oregon.

Public Events include:

Tuesday, September 28, 12 pm
Old Library, Marylhurst University

A reading at Marylhurst University by the five visiting writers.

Wednesday, September 29, 4 pm
The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft

The Salt Bag: A Lesson in Cultural Diplomacy
Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program, describes the kinds of encounters, small and large, that a diplomat faces in simply visiting other countries and cultures.

Thursday, September 30, 5:45 pm
Smith Memorial Building, Room 236 (Cascade Room)

Home and A Way: International Writing Today is a roundtable discussion with the five visiting writers, moderated by Tim DuRoche of the World Affairs Council of Oregon.

Friday, October 1, 6:30 pm
Swigert Commons, PNCA Main Campus Building

The highlight of the week-long visit by five international writers is a public reading and reception that is also the kick-off event of this year’s Wordstock festival.

International Writers Project Visiting Writers

Maxine Case is a fiction and nonfiction writer from South Africa. She has written for a number of publications including Real Simple, Reader’s Digest and O Magazine. In 2007 her debut novel All We Have Left Unsaid won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in Africa, as well as the Herman Charles Bosman Award. She is now attending the graduate program in nonfiction at the New School in New York, where she will be working on a family story that reaches back to the 1700’s.

Laura Fish is a fiction writer from England with over a decade of experience working with the BBC News on both broadcast television and radio. She is the author of the novels Flight of Black Swans (1995) and Strange Music (2008), the later being listed for the 2009 Orange Prize, and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She currently holds the RCUK Academic Fellowship in Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Eduardo Halfon is a fiction writer born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He was Literature Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala and has published several works.  He has received a number of awards including the XV Café Bretón y Bodegas Olarra Literary Prize in 2009 and the José María de Pereda Priza for Short Novel.  In 2007 he was named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá. 

Farangis Siahpoor is a filmmaker from Iran who has written, directed and produced [Once Upon a Time], The Day After Tomorrow, and Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce, as well as the experimental Fly’s Eye and the documentaries Ferdosi and Situation. Her experience includes work as an editor, cinematographer, producer, production designer and script supervisor. She has served as a referee for film festivals at Tehran University, and is the author of a collection of short stories [It Passes You By] and the play Irani Eyd.

Tang Ling is a fiction and screenwriter from China. She writes avant-garde plays, episodes for Chinese language TV series.  She has published numerous short stories and novellas with Harvest and other presses including her first novel The First Time.  One of her pieces, Tell Laola I Love Her, was selected by the Creation and Research Department of Chinese Writers Association for inclusion in The Best Chinese Novellas for 2001.