Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This summer, twelve young writers from Arabic-speaking countries were invited to the University of Iowa to participate in the Between the Lines program. The students, aged 16-19, spent a week in Iowa City, participating in writing workshops and literature seminars (in both English and Arabic), visiting local sights, and deepening their understanding of the United States through interactions with fellow students and the community. The program, a partnership between the International Writing Program and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, debuted in 2008.

One of the goals of the Between the Lines program is to make sure that participants understand their place in this tradition. Every morning, students convened together to write as a group, where instructors introduced favorite writing exercises. There were also outdoor writing exercises designed to help students delve deeper into their creative voice, to take risks, to develop pieces they might not discover on their own.

They also participated in workshops throughout their stay, which inevitably precipitated in-depth, thoughtful meditations on what it is that writers do. Instructors ensured that workshops present a supportive environment. Instructors designed seminars around the books they love, books that taught or amazed them. Read more...

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