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Rumena Bužarovska to attend University of Iowa’s writing residency


Macedonian fiction writer and women’s rights activist Rumena Bužarovska will attend the Fall Residency of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, which begins on Aug 18.

The University of Iowa is the United States of America’s premier center for creative writing. Its residency program is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world.

Since 1967, when the IWP was founded, it has hosted more than 1,400 writers from 150 countries, providing them with a broad exposure to currents in American literature through talks and readings by, and meetings with, well-known American writers such as, for example, Kurt Vonnegut, Raymond Carver, and John Cheever.

The IWP is dedicated to inclusive literary and cultural exchange, and Bužarovska will be joining an alumni roster that includes Luisa Valenzuela (Argentina, 1969), Tomaž Šalamun (Slovenia, 1971), Bessie Head (Botswana, 1977), Earl Lovelace (Trinidad, 1980), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey, 1985), and Bei Dao (China, 1988).

Other Macedonian authors who have attended the program are Vladimir Martinovski (in 2017), Nikola Madzirov (2008), and Lidija Dimkovska (2005).

Rumena Bužarovska (b. 1981, Skopje) has three books of fiction published and translated into several languages. Her story collection Mojot maž, which won the Edo Budiša Award for Best Short Story Collection in 2016, will in 2019 appear from Dalkey Press as My Husband.

Named in 2016 as one of Ten New Voices from Europe to watch, Bužarovska is also a teacher, scholar, editor, translator, and one of Macedonia’s leading women’s rights activists who helped organize the country’s #MeToo (#SegaKazuvam) movement.

Joined by 35 international participants in the IWP, Bužarovska will work on her own writing and research projects. The full program — which includes panel discussions, the “International Literature Today” university course, and the Iowa City Book Festival — will run from August 18 to November 6, 2018.

Bužarovska is taking part in the IWP Fall Residency courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.