Khet Mar on the Road

by Silvia Duarte    /  April 11, 2011  / No comments


On April 4, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program launched Writers in Motion, a two weeks study tour of the Mid-Atlantic and the American South, where eight international writers will explore the theme of “Fall and Recovery.” One of the writers is Khet Mar, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s writer in residence.

Khet Mar is a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist born in Burma. Author of the novel Wild Snowy Night, three collections of short stories and a volume of essays, she has had work translated into Japanese, Spanish, and English.

Read the other writers bios

The eight writers are traveling to Gettysburg, New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, Birmingham, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to examine the different challenges presented by historical crises and upheavals, both natural and social. Topics will include the Civil War, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and the Civil Rights movement. Through all this phenomena the writers engage issues of race, class, and federal (versus local) governance.

The visiting writers are meeting with local writers, scientists, historians, and citizens, and will visit creative writing departments and tour local landmarks and museums in an effort to deepen their understanding of both the complexity of United States history as well as the challenges of writing cohesively and comprehensively about disaster worldwide. An international filmmaker will accompany the delegation.

In the upcoming days, Khet Mar will be introducing some of her traveling partners in a series of short interviews. Read the following:

Cambodian Writer Alice Pung

Filipino Writer Vicente García Groyón

Canadian Writer Madeleine Thien

Guatemalan Writer Eduardo Halfon

If you want to read what Khet Mar and the other writers are discovering through this trip, read their blog posts here.

About the Author

Silvia Duarte is the managing editor of Sampsonia Way. She received her degree in Communication Sciences from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala and her masters in Latin American studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. Duarte was editor of El Periódico de Guatemala’s Sunday magazine from 2001 to 2006 and has written scholarly and journalistic articles in Germany, Spain, and the United States. She came to Pittsburgh in 2007 with her partner writer-in-exile Horacio Castellanos.

View all articles by Silvia Duarte

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