Room 220 is delighted to present for the fifth year straight a group of esteemed writers from around the globe, in partnership with the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program and New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. This year’s reading will feature Armen of Armenia (Armenia), Karen Villeda (Mexico), Samuel Kolawole (Nigeria), and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow (Singapore). The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the Nims Black Box Theater on NOCCA’s Bywater campus (2800 Chartres St.). A reception will follow.
Each year since 1966, the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program has hosted a class of mid-career creative writers from around the world in its residency program. Since 2011, these residents have visited New Orleans on an annual “field trip” of sorts to enjoy more of the United States than Iowa’s (lovely!) corn fields, conduct classroom visits at schools around the city, and participate in Room 220 events. See the fall 2015 class of IWP residents. Many will be on hand at this event.
Armen of Armenia is a fiction writer from, you guessed it, Armenia. He is the author of the story collection The Return of Kikos and the novel Mommyland. A short story of his appeared in the 2015 edition of Best European Fiction. His writing is significantly influenced by his political activism. He participates in IWP courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Yu-Mei Balasingamchow is a fiction and nonfiction writer from Singapore. She has had stories appear in the anthologies From the Belly of the Cat and Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore, as well as in Mänoa: A Pacific Journals of International Writing. Her nonfiction work includes Singapore: A Biography, commissioned by the National Museum of Singapore. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council.
Samuel Kolawole is a fiction and nonfiction writer from Nigeria. He is the author of the story collection The Book of M and other stories, widely anthologized. He has had grants and fellowships from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, the Norman Mailer Centre, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation, among others. Currently working on his second book, he directs a writing school in Ibadan. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Karen Villeda is a poet, translator, and fiction writer from Mexico. She is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Dodo. Her work in poetry and multimedia, widely anthologized and translated, has received recognition through several awards, including the 2014 National Fine Arts Prize for Children’s Fiction and the 2013 Elías Nandino National Award for Youth Poetry. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
As always, this event is free and open to the public.