EDUCATION / NON - PROFIT WORK: UNIV. OF IOWA INTL' WRITING PROGRAM - MOROCCO
International Writing Program takes 'New Symposium' to Morocco
The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) extended its successful "New Symposium," which met for three years on the island of Paros in Greece, with "Writing In and Beyond the City," a gathering of writers and artists in Fez and Essaouira Morocco, from April 28 through May 5, 2009.
The event took place in the form of a "Souk Ukaz" -- an Arab tradition of intellectual and artistic exchange. In huge gatherings, traders from different tribes meet to sell and buy products, but the events are also social and cultural extravaganzas where poets compete. The Souk Ukaz (Ukaz market), situated on the spice route in Arabia, is the most famous of these gatherings, where the winning poet is rewarded with a gold inscription of the poem hung on the walls of al-Kaaba in Mecca.
Participants included IWP veterans and other prominent artists and writers from Europe, the United States, South America, Asia, North Africa, Mexico and the Middle East.
Invited to join the IWP "Souk Ukaz, one among 2 photographers and 11 writers, the following series of images is a selection from my experience in Morocco with the IWP.