New York — It is a week to go to the 2nd annual International Writers Conference, WRITING ACROSS BORDERS, Sunday, May 18, 2014, to be held at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge St., Manhattan on the lower east side.
The National Writers Union – New York chapter is enjoining all writers, journalists, and poets to attend this major significant gathering of writers in the Big Apple. For only $25, the conference offers an array of speakers on migration, identity, and justice, plus breakfast, lunch, snacks, and cocktails at the end of the day.
NWU is inviting young undocumented authors who write about their immigration experiences.
NWU New York Chairperson Tim Sheard said the conference is bringing together comics to talk about how a joke’s meaning changes when told across ethnic or religious boundaries.
“And we are celebrating the creativity, passion, and courage of writers who cross borders in their quest for justice and a fruitful life.”
Among the authors to discuss issues on journalism, immigration, justice, and human rights include:
Mucahit Bilici, assistant professor of Sociology at John Jay College, CUNY, and the author of Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012). In Turkey he is recognized as a Kurdish public intellectual and writes weekly columns for the Istanbul-based Turkish daily, Taraf. In addition to teaching, Bilici also lectures on such topics as: contemporary Islamic thought, the Muslim experience in America, emerging Kurdish identity and Turkish politics.
Gil Fagiani, a poet, essayist, short story writer and translator. He has translated into English, poetry written in Italian, Abruzzese dialect and Spanish. He co-hosts the monthly reading of the Italian American Writers Association at the Cornelia Street Cafe, and is the Associate Editor of Feila-Festa: A Literary Arts Magazine.
Alia Malek, a Senior Staff Writer at Al Jazeera America. She is a civil rights lawyer and journalist who has lived and worked in the US, Lebanon, the West Bank, Syria, and Italy. The author of A Country Called Amreeka: US History Retold Through Arab American Lives and the editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustice, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, The Columbia Journalism Review, Granta, and McSweeney’s.
Marivir Montebon, publisher and executive editor of OSM! online magazine and author of three books, the latest of which is Biting the Big Apple, a memoir of the first five years of her life in New York as an asylum seeker. She also writes for the Huffington Post.
Mahnaz Rezaie was born in western Afghanistan to a Shia family that placed a high value on education. When she was eight years old, the Taliban came to power, forcing her Shia family to flee the Sunni Taliban threat. Returning to Afghanistan years later, Mahnaz won a scholarship to continue her education abroad.She has been a writer for the Afghan Women Writers Project for several years and is now mentoring the online Dari workshop for women in Afghanistan who do not speak/write English. Mahnaz is also a filmmaker who was honored at the recent Women in the World Summit in NYC for her short film that explores how wearing a hijab affected her relationships when she first came to the US.
Ninotchka Rosca, an outstanding contemporary writer, human rights activist and feminist. She is the author of six books: her short story collections include Bitter Country and Monsoon Country; her two novels are State of War and Twice Blessed which earned the 1993 American Book Award for excellence in literature; and her books of non-fiction are Endgame: The Fall of Marcos and Jose Maria Sison: At Home in the World – Portrait of a Revolutionary. Rosca’s short stories have been included in several anthologies, among them, the 1986 Best 100 Short Stories in the U.S. compiled by Raymond Carver and the Missouri Review Anthology. She is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
Claudia Serea, a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies from the U.S., U.K., and Australia, such as New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Word Riot, Going Down Swinging, The Lake, Cutthroat, Apple Valley Review, Green Mountains Review, International Poetry Review, Ascent, Connotation Press, protestpoems.org, Mudfish, The Dirty Goat, Harpur Palate, Contrary, Poets & Artists, and many others. Her poem My Father’s Quiets Friends in Prison, 1958-1962 received the New Letters Readers Award in 2013.
Authors will sign and sell their books following their panel discussions. The day will end with a cocktail party and celebration of writers who forge their identities across borders and in new cultures.
(To register online, visit http://www.nwuny.org/Writing-Across-Borders.html)