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Author Kevin Chen to join International Writing Program residency

  • Date:2023-06-08

Award-winning Taiwanese author Kevin Chen (陳思宏) has been selected to join the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa in the US. The program, which is designed for both established and emerging creative writers, will host a three-month residency starting in August. This prestigious opportunity was made possible through the endorsement of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), with Chen receiving full financial support from the U.S. Department of State.

In 2020, Chen's novel "Ghost Town (鬼地方)" received two prestigious awards in Taiwan, including the Annual Golden Book Grand Prize of the Taiwan Literature Awards and the Best Literature Book of the Golden Tripod Awards for Publications. The book has been reprinted 14 times, and its publishing rights have been sold to foreign publishers to translate into nine languages, including English, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, French, Polish, and Greek. Among them, the English version of the book received widespread praise, having been included in the New York Times Fall Book List and recognized as one of the top 10 finest works of world literature by the Library Journal in 2022. Additionally, it garnered stellar reviews from esteemed publications such as The New York Times, Booklist, and Library Journal.

Chen has conducted book tours in several US states, including California, Texas, Michigan, and New York. He also took part in two prominent literary events, namely the PEN World Voices Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, from May 10 to 13. Chen's creative writing is based on his life experiences. His representative works include "Three Ways to Get Rid of Allergies (去過敏的三種方法)," "The Ninth Body (第九個身體)," "Florida Metamorphosis (佛羅里達變形記)," and more.

The IWP, established in 1967 by poet Paul Engle and author Hualing Nieh Engle (聶華苓), invites writers from around the world annually to the University of lowa for the purposes of writing and cultural exchange. A range of events is also organized, including arranging for writers to engage in exchanges in different cities, delivering lectures to university and high school students, and participating in reading events where citizens can engage in intimate conversations about literature.