NOCCA will present for the sixth year straight a group of esteemed writers from around the globe, in partnership with the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program. This year’s reading will feature Ko Hua Chen (Taiwan), Courtney Sina Meredith (New Zealand), Ukamaka Olisakwe (Nigeria), Shenaz Patel (Mauritius), Vladimir Poleganov (Bulgaria), and Zhou Jianing (China). The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, at Press Street Station (5 Press Street Wharf).
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 local literary events.
Ko Hua Chen ??? (poet, fiction writer, painter; Taiwan) studied at Taipei Medical University and Harvard Medical School; he now practices as an ophthalmologist at the Taipei Veterans’ General Hospital. He is the author of more than twenty volumes of poetry; his collection Tears of Ignorance was recently translated into Japanese. His work often addresses LGBTQ issues. His participation is made possible by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture.
Courtney Sina Meredith (poet, playwright, fiction writer, musician; New Zealand) published her award-winning play Rushing Dolls in 2012; a poetry collection, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick, appeared the same year. A new book of short stories, Tail of the Taniwha, is available in August 2016. Her writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, French and Bahasa Indonesia. Her participation is made possible by Creative New Zealand.
Ukamaka Olisakwe (screenwriter, novelist, nonfiction writer; Nigeria) writes TV scripts (most recently the series “The Calabash”), essays, short stories, and has one novel. Selected in 2014 by the Africa39 Project as one of the continent’s 39 most promising writers under the age of 40, she has had her work appear in theNew York Times. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Shenaz Patel (fiction writer, playwright; Mauritius) has written many novels, plays, and short stories in both French and Mauritian Créole: best known is her 2005 novel Le silence des Chagos. As a working journalist, she writes about social and cultural issues; much of her writing seeks to unearth the unsaid and untold. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Vladimir Poleganov (fiction writer, screenwriter, translator; Bulgaria) translates between Bulgarian and English. He also teaches a course on fantasy fiction at Sofia University, where he is working towards a Ph.D in Bulgarian literature. His most recent novel, The Other Dream, will come out in 2016. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Zhou Jianing ??? (fiction writer, translator; China) has published seven novels and two short story collections, as well as Chinese translations of major English-language writers such as Flannery O’Connor and Joyce Carol Oates. Her most recent novel, In the Woods, was published in 2014. Her participation is made possible by the Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.