Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Writing University conducts is a series of interviews (the "5Q Interviews": five questions for all) with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. We sit down with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.

Today we are talking with Kirmen Uribe, a novelist, poet and essayist from Spain.

1. Do you have a plan or project in mind for your time at the residency?

I would like to start writing a very special novel, a kind of Basque "100 years of solitude", but attending to the new narrative tendencies of the 21st century. They are stories of my childhood, with children and women as protagonists, stories of imagination, conflict and tenderness. I feel it will be my most special book, although it is like a nebula at the moment, I hope that in Iowa it will take shape. I will also write some new poetry.

2. What does your daily practice look like for your writing? Do you have a certain time when you write? Any specific routine?

I like to write in the morning, after breakfast and take a walk. In the afternoon I try to read, since we writers are mainly readers and the readings are my main source of inspiration. At the end of the day, it's the best time to be with the other writers and chat.

3. What are you currently reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure?

Both. I'm doing interviews right now. I really like oral history, talking to people. Then maybe few things will appear in the novel, but you always learn something. For the rest I am reading Danilo Kis, David Grossman, and a very interesting essay against Hate by Carolin Emcke.

4. Tell us a bit about where you are from -- what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?

Although I travel a lot for the world, I still live with my wife and children in the town where I was born. I think it's a vital choice. It is a small place, a beautiful fishing village on the Atlantic coast. The people who live in this place still speak the Basque language (a 3000 years old language, no related to other languages in Europe), and has been a bit of side to professional success. And the stories I tell are from this region, like what William Faulkner or Eudora Welty did in their time.


Thank you so much, Kirmen Uribe!

Check the IWP website for events that will include Kirmen Uribe throughout the residency.