Do you know the next Liu Xiaobo?
Brown's graduate program in literary arts and its Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies are looking for the 2011-12 International Writers Project Fellow. They've put out a call for applications and nominations, which will be accepted until Feb. 15.
The fellowship was founded in 1989 by author Robert Coover, a professor at Brown, in the wake of the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against Salman Rushdie. It is designed to support a writer -- of fiction, nonfiction, poetry or plays -- who faces personal danger, oppression or threat to his or her livelihood in his or her home nation. The fellowship lasts for an academic year and includes relocation to the U.S. and living expenses, plus an office at the university.
Authors such as China's Liu Xiaobo can benefit from the year of respite and safety. Liu Xiaobo, currently in prison, won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Previous IWP fellows have included Burmese novelist Thida, novelist Chenjerai Hove from Zimbabwe, Iranian novelists Moniro Ravanipour, Shahryar Mandanipour and Shahrnush Parsipur, and Congolese playwright and novelist Pierre Mumbere Mujomba.
Writers interested in applying for a fellowship, or those who would like to nominate a candidate, should send the program a case history, publishing history, writing sample, resume and explanataion of need. Complete details are available on the IWP Fellowship website.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: A protester holds placards in support of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo at a December 2009 demonstration at the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong. Credit: YM / EPA