The fellowship provides institutional, intellectual, artistic and social support to writers who face personal danger, oppression, and/or threats to their livelihood in nations throughout the world. Each academic year, the fellowship is granted to one writer who is unable to practice free expression in his or her homeland. Deeply practical in nature and intention, the academic-year fellowship covers the costs of relocation and the writer’s living expenses in the U.S., and also provides an office on the campus of Brown University for ten months.
International Writers Project director Erik Ehn says that, in a time when freedom of expression is under world-wide threat, making fellowships like this one available is a top priority for writing programs and universities. The Literary Arts Department at Brown has provided freedom-to-write fellowships since 1989 and has a long history of engagement in freedom of expression issues. “The rigor of the word, the bravery of the writer, the ethic of solidarity and the faith in steady witness are celebrated at Brown through the mission and practices of the IWP,” Ehn says. “IWP provides writers-at-risk time to write and engagement with our community of faculty and students and beyond, through festivals, performances, and special presentations.”
The 2012 – 2013 IWP Fellow is Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees. Previous IWP Fellows have included Iranian poet Pegah Ahmadi, Cambodian poet Kho Tararith, Nigerian fiction writer and documentary filmmaker Dul Johnson, Burmese novelist Thida, Zimbabwean novelist Chenjerai Hove, Iranian novelists Moniro Ravanipour, Shahryar Mandanipour, and Shahrnush Parsipur, and Congolese playwright and novelist Pierre Mumbere Mujomba.
The IWP Fellowship is open to established creative writers (fiction writers, poets, or playwrights) who are persecuted in their home countries or who are actively prevented from pursuing free expression in their literary art. Writers interested in applying for the fellowship should send a case history, providing publishing history and explaining need, a writing sample (preferably in English), and a resume, to the Department of Literary Arts, Box 1923, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, or they may email materials to email@example.com. Letters of support from persons acquainted with the candidate’s situation and eligibility are also helpful. Anyone wishing to make the IWP aware of a writer in need, or wishing to nominate a candidate, should also contact the program as noted above. The IWP will accept applications until February 15, 2013. More information about the IWP is available on the Literary Arts website, www.brown.edu/cw