US Department of StateNEW YORK CITY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the University of Iowa, celebrates the conclusion of this year’s International Writing Program with public events in Washington, D.C. and New York City. The International Writing Program is an 80-day, U.S. based-residency for creative writing professionals. For more than 40 years, this literary cultural diplomacy exchange has brought writers from around the world to the U.S. to study, collaborate, and create opportunities to further mutual understanding.

To culminate this year’s residency, the group will celebrate with several events in Washington, D.C. and New York City:

* On Tuesday, November 6, slam poet T.J. Dema of Botswana and fellow writers will join high school students of the D.C. Youth Poetry Slam Team at the Martin Luther King Library in Washington, D.C.

* On Thursday, November 8, participants will share their work during a reading at Politics & Prose Book Store in Washington, D.C. where they will be joined by Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock and University of Iowa’s Chris Merrill. The event will feature residents from Russia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Burma.

* On Sunday, November 11 in New York City, a small group of the residency writers and the Battery Dance Company will present a collaborative event based on the writers’ work on the theme of freedom.

The International Writing Program is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. With a tradition of excellence that has continued on for nearly five decades, the IWP annually brings outstanding authors from every continent to the University of Iowa. Since 1967, over 1,400 writes from more than 130 nations have taken part in the Fall Residency. Each fall, 25-35 writers gather in Iowa City for this 10-week residency to work on their own projects, to give readings and lectures, and to interact with American audiences and literary communities across the United States.