July – October 2007

The International Writing Program will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary during the week of October 7-12, 2007. A reading by visiting Chinese writers is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., in the Adler Journalism Building, room E105. For a full calendar of events for the Anniversary week celebration visit the IWP website.“I’ve been visiting and watching workshops. You have a program for young Americans. Why don’t you start one for writers from other countries?””That’s one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard,” Paul shouted to Hualing in the motorboat taking them up the Coralville Reservoir north of Iowa City.Paul Engle, Rowena Torrevillas and Hualing Nieh Engle edsThe World comes to Iowa: Iowa International Anthology
Ames : Iowa State University Press, 1987

East Asia in the Midwest

Co-founded in 1967 by Paul Engle and Hualing Nieh Engle and currently directed by poet and essayist Christopher Merrill, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program has upheld the vitality of the world’s literary traditions and championed a central role for artists in creating international understanding. The IWP’s annual residency has hosted more than 1100 writers, often among the most talented of their generation, providing them the time, space and tools necessary for producing new work. In turn, American and especially Midwestern audiences have been given direct access to the international authors through classes, readings, publications, lectures, translation workshops, and social gatherings.

Among many of the visiting writers who went on to achieve global standing, a selection of prominent East Asian writers is highlighted in the exhibit: East Asia in Midwest: 40 years of East Asian Writers at the IWP. Nearly 150 writers (Excel spreadsheet) have come from East Asian countries to participate in the IWP in the four decades of its existence.

Twelve writers from China, five from Taiwan, eight from Korea and eight from Japan are featured in this exhibit.


China and Taiwan Japan Korea
1968 Cheng Chou-Yu 郑愁予
1979 Xiao Qian 萧乾
1980 Ai Qing 艾青
1980 Wang Meng 王蒙
1983 Wang Anyi 王安忆
1983 Ch’en Ying-chen 陈映真
1984 Bo Yang 柏杨
1985 Feng Jicai 冯骥才
1988 Bei Dao 北岛
1997 Chang Ta-Chun 张大春
2001 Su Tong 苏童
2002 Li Rui 李锐
2002 Xi Chuan 西川
2003 Yu Hua 余华
2004 Mo Yan 莫言
2005 Chi Zijian 迟子建
2007 Lou Yi-chin 骆以军
1967 Tamura Ryuichi 田村隆一
1971 Yoshimasu Gozo 吉増剛造
1973 Shiraishi Kazuko 白石かずこ
1980 Oba Minako 大庭みな子
1982 Nakagami Kenji 中上健次
2002 Nakagami Nori 中上紀
2003 Mizumura Minae 水村美苗
2004 Shimada Masahiko 島田雅彦
2004 Yoshimasu Gozo 吉増剛造
1970 Hwang Tong-gyu 황동규
1973 Choe In-hoon 최인훈
1984 Park Je-chun 박제천
1987 Oh Sae-young 오세영
1990 Kim Jiwon 김지원
1993 Kim Seung-hee 김승희
2000 Hwang Ji-woo 황지우
2003 Kim Young-ha 김영하

Exhibit Text

For more information, about East Asian writers and the International Writing Program.

International Writing Program

East Asian Collection websites:

Japanese IWP Writers

Korean IWP Writers

Chinese-language IWP Writers

Papers of Paul Engle in the Special Collections

The Writing University Archive

Exhibit Bibliography



Exhibit Planning
Chiaki Sakai, Min Tian, Adrienne Hurley, Nataša Ďurovičová and Hugh Ferrer with assistance from Kristi Bontrager and Kristin Baum

Production and Installation Assistance
Chiaki Sakai, Min Tian, Nataša Ďurovičová, Adrienne Hurley, Bill Voss and Kristin Baum with assistance from Yonghong Zhu.

Graphic Design
Shari DeGraw

Special thanks to Professor Emerita Hualing Nieh Engle for providing invaluable information as the co-founder of the IWP; Dr Jin Lee of the University of California-San Diego and Dr David McCann of Harvard University for lending their expertise on Korean writers; Dr Ramon Lim for his beautiful calligraphy; Ms Hyen-su Min for her nice Hangul calligraphy; Mr Asim Mohamed Al Saidi for sending us a Nizwa magazine from Oman; Mr Tom Langdon for providing his IWP author portraits; Ms Kristin Olson for helping with the Japanese translations; Ms Hyokyoung Yi of the University of Washington Libraries for answering reference questions; Mr Park Je-chun for providing his translations of other IWP writers’ works; Ms Rebecca Kessler for information about IWP events sponsored by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies; and Ms Marilya Corbot, Mr Tomoyuki Hoshino, Mr Masahiko Shimada, Mr Ho Jung Choi and Hee Young Ahn for helping us verify and gather the information.