10 Young Russian Writers visit DC for Creative Writing & Cultural Exchange

July 28, 2013 - 09:34


July 27th-30th, 2013 ten aspiring Russian authors ages 16-19 will be soaking up the literary culture in Washington D.C., visiting Kramer Books, the Newseum, and getting a lesson in slam poetry from Split This Rock/DC Youth Slam. The talented teens have spent the last two weeks in Iowa City, IA (home of the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a UNESCO City of Literature), taking part in Between the Lines (BTL) Russia, a creative writing and cultural exchange program organized by the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP) in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

 Sunday, July 28: 2:00 – 4:00 PM: Slam introductory workshop with Split This Rock/DC Youth Slam at Split This Rock Offices (112 16th NW, Ste. 600)

Monday, July 29th: 2:00 – 5:00 PM: Newseum  (555 Pennsylvania Ave NW)

Monday, July 29th: 6:00 – 7:00 PM: Kennedy Center performance by DC Youth Slam (2700 F St NW  Washington)


In Iowa, the students, who hail from cities and towns all over Russia (many had never traveled outside of Russia), teamed up with 10 U.S. students from 9 states for two weeks of writing workshops, seminars and literary events, including a public reading at local literary landmark The Haunted Bookshop. They also visited farms, museums, and attended rodeo and mutton bustin’ events and sampled the fried jello at the Washington County Fair, to generate ideas for new creative works, with the guidance of rising American poet Kiki Petrosino and well-known Russian novelist Alan Cherchesov.
 “BTL opens a door to the world for students, both U.S. and Russian—it encourages them to discover and interact with other cultures around a shared interest—writing,” says BTL Coordinator Kelly Morse.
Russian students toured the Poetry Foundation in Chicago en route to Iowa. D.C. is the last stop on their U.S. trip. “The decision to focus on slam culture while in D.C. reflects the fact that spoken word poetry resonates with literary traditions around the world,” says IWP associate director Hugh Ferrer.
“It’s a chance to discover the real America, not like we see on TV and the internet,” says BTL participant Inna Dmitrieva of Petrozavodsk. “It is life-changing.”



Share This: