Lines and Spaces Reading Tour in Armenia

Five prominent American writers are visiting Armenia as part of the Lines and Spaces Reading Tour, conducted by the internationally-renowned University of Iowa’s, International Writing Program.

The tour involves public readings, panel discussions, round table discussions with experts, and casual social events with local authors. The events aim to introduce contemporary American literature to the Armenian public and familiarize the visiting American writers with the local Armenian literary scene.

The writers are Natashia Deon, Lisa Schlesinger, Michael Collier, Cate Dicharry, and Christopher Merrill.

Natashia Deón is a 2017 NAACP Image Award Nominee and author of the critically-acclaimed novel, GRACE (Counterpoint Press), which won many awards including the 2017 First Novel Prize by the American Library Association’s Black Caucus (BCALA). Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Buzzfeed, LA Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Feminist Wire, Asian American Lit Review, Rattling Wall and other places. A practicing attorney, law professor, and creator of the popular L.A.-based reading series Dirty Laundry Lit, Deón is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship.

Michael Collier has published six collections of poetry, including The Ledge, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He has published a collection of essays, Make Us Wave Back; a translation of Medea; and has edited or co-edited three poetry anthologies. His many honors include an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Currently, he teaches at the University of Maryland, where he directs the Creative Writing Program.

Cate Dicharry received her BA in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and her MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside’s low-residency program. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, The Nervous Breakdown, Role/Reboot and other publications. Her debut novel was published by Unnamed Press in April 2015. Cate taught English at Dalian Nationalities University in Dalian China, and worked at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History before taking on her current role as coordinator of the International Writing Program’s Between the Lines program for young writers.

Christopher Merrill has published six books of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many edited volumes and books of translations; and six works of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, chronicling his travels in Asia and the Middle East in the wake of the war on terror.  A member of the National Council on the Humanities and the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, he directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Lisa Schlesinger is recipient of the NEA/TCG Playwrights Residency Award, winner of the BBC International Playwriting Award. Her plays include Celestial Bodies Trilogy, Rock Ends Ahead,  and The Bones of Danny Winston  Lisa is currently working on The Iphigenia Project, a multi-year multidisciplinary collaboration with filmmaker Irina Patkanian, director Marion Schoevaert and composer Kinan Azmeh in response to the global refugee crisis. She teaches playwriting at the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop.