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International Writing Program (IWP) Panel Series Discussion Series: Speaking Freely?

Oct 4, 2019

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A

123 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

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By definition, being a writer depends on having speech be free. Yet freedom of speech is understood and valued very differently across historical moments, cultures, and contexts: the concept of "hate speech" stands in sharp contradiction to that of "freedom of expression." What is a writer's responsibility in the domain between the two poles?  

Shadreck CHIKOTI (fiction; Malawi) co-directs Pan African Publishers, and is the founder of The Story Club Malawi. He is also the founder of the Kenyenyeva ministries, which serves vulnerable children, and of the Feminart Arts and Book Festival. Writing in English and Chichewa, he participated in the 2011 Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of nine books of speculative fiction; the novel Azotus the Kingdom won the 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe.

Clara CHOW (fiction, nonfiction, drama; Singapore) is a short story writer, editor, columnist, co-founder of the arts and literature magazine WeAreAWebsite.com, and author of two short story collections. Named among Singapore’s Top 12 Writers to Watch, she won the 2018 Jane Geske Award for her story “Siren (Redux).” Chow participates courtesy of National Arts Council Singapore. 

Efe DUYAN (poetry, translation; architecture; Turkey) teaches architectural history and theory at Mimar Sinan Arts University. He has authored three poetry collections, most recently Sikça sorulan sorular [Frequently Asked Questions] (2016), and publishes academic work on space in architecture and poetry. His debut novel [Other] is forthcoming. A co-director of the Gaziantep Poetry Festival, he has read at poetry festivals world wide; his work has been translated into 29 languages. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Tade IPADEOLA (poetry, translation, prose; Nigeria) received the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his poetry collection The Sahara Testaments, which has been translated into four languages; in 2009 he won the Delphic Laurel for his poem “Songbird.” A Bellagio Rockefeller Fellow and a juror for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, he also translates poetry into Yoruba. He participates thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at