Poets Against War-Spring Newsletter 2007
Poets Against War Newsletter Winter 2006

In this issue:

C. Clayton Childress: The Golem and the Liar
Jirí Orten: Lost Soldier
Yanar Mohammed:President of Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq

Sam Hamill: Commentary

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Spring 2007
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The Brown Graduate Program in Literary Arts and Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies are seeking applications and nominations for the 2007 – 2008  International Writers Project Fellowship.

The Fellowship, which is sponsored by the William H. Donner Foundation, provides institutional, intellectual, artistic and social support to writers who face personal danger, oppression, and/or threats to their livelihood in nations throughout the world.  Each academic year, the fellowship is granted to one writer who is unable to practice free expression in his or her homeland.  Deeply practical in nature and intention, the academic-year fellowship covers the costs of relocation and the writer's living expenses in the U.S., and also provides an office on the campus of Brown University for ten months.

International Writers Project Director Robert Coover points out that, while the Literary Arts Program at Brown has been providing freedom-to-write fellowships since 1989 and has a long history of engagement in freedom of expression issues, “not in recent history has the basic principle of free expression been under such worldwide threat as right now, in 2007, making fellowships like this one a top priority for any writing program or university.  Not only does the fellowship provide needed support and sanctuary to an individual writer, it also signals a commitment to the principle of freedom of expression and, through its association with cultural programs, seeks to heighten awareness of that principle's vulnerability and the need for international solidarity in its protection.”

The newly-appointed 2007 IWP Fellow is Moniro Ravanipour, an internationally acclaimed innovative writer who is the author of eight titles published in Iran, including two collections of short fiction, Kanizu and Satan's Stones , and the novels The Drowned , Heart of Steel , and Gypsy by Fire .  Her tales, described as “reminiscent in their fantastic blend of realism, myth, and superstition of writers like Rulfo, Garcia Marquez, even Tutuola,” frequently take as their setting the small, remote village in southern Iran where she was born. Nahid Mozaffari, editor of Strange Times, My Dear:  The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature , writes that Ravanipour “has been successful in the treatment of the complex subjects of tradition and modernity, juxtaposing elements of both, and exposing them in all their contradictions without idealizing either.”

Ms. Ravanipour was among seventeen activists to face trial in Iran for their participation in the 2000 Berlin Conference, accused of taking part in anti-Iran propaganda.  Copies of her current work were recently stripped from bookstore shelves in Iran in a countrywide police action.  Her six-month residency at Brown began in February.

Other IWP Fellows have included Iranian novelist Shahryar Mandanipour, Congolese playwright and novelist Pierre Mumbere Mujomba and Iranian novelist Sharhnush Parsipur.

The IWP Fellowship is open to established creative writers (fiction writers, poets, or playwrights) who are persecuted in their home countries or who are actively prevented from pursuing free expression in their literary art.  Writers interested in applying for the fellowship should send a letter, providing publishing history and explaining need, together with a resume, to the International Writers Project, Watson Institute for International Studies, Box 1970, Brown University, Providence, RI   02912, or they may email materials to iwp@brown.edu .  Persons wishing to make the IWP aware of a writer in need, or wishing to nominate a candidate, should also contact the program as noted above.  More information about the IWP is available on the Literary Arts Program website, www.brown.edu/cw (click on IWP).

Note:  the April 5 deadline for this fellowship has been extended.  The selection committee will continue to review materials that arrive after April  5, 2007.

Lori Baker
(401) 863 - 3276

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