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MetroPost columnist is writing fellow in Iowa

Dumaguete-based fictionist Ian Rosales Casocot, a faculty of the Department of English and Literature of Silliman University, has been chosen as a writing fellow for the 43rd annual residency of the International Writing Program (IWP) of the University of Iowa. He will be joined by poet and novelist Edgar Calabia Samar of the Ateneo de Manila University in the program, which will last from 28 August to 16 November 2010.

Casocot and Samar were chosen from a field of candidates from the Philippines who are primarily writers of fiction, poetry, drama, or screenplays, and who have at least one published volume, or works that have appeared in significant publications, over a period of at least two years. Some prior form of national or local recognition for the candidate’s literary achievements is also part of the criteria for selection.

The IWP, the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world, brings to the University of Iowa outstanding authors from every continent. Each fall, 25-35 writers gather in Iowa City to work on their own projects, to give readings and lectures, to travel in the U.S., and to interact with American audiences and the literary community.

Since 1967, it has brought over 1,200 writers from 120 nations to this country. From the Philippines, it has invited such writers as Susan Lara, Cirilo Bautista, Ophelia Dimalanta, Alfred Yuson, Angelo Rodriguez Lacuesta, and Gutierrez Manansakan.

The goal of the IWP is to provide authors with time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, travel, give readings, stage work, and become part of the community at the University of Iowa. They provide the setting for cultural exchange and arrange opportunities for the writers’ participation in the academic life of a major American research university situated within the vibrant literary community of Iowa City. IWP writers share their literary cultures with others and establish contacts with the larger US publishing scene. For many of the participants, the IWP residency is their first stay in the United States.

The IWP works closely with other writing units at the University of Iowa, including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the MFA Program in Translation, and the Playwrights’ Workshop.

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