S281. Immigration: Cultural Binding, Creative Chaos, and the Survival of International Writers

Room 102A, Washington Convention Center, Level One
Saturday, February 11, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


How does immigration affect a writer's creative pursuit in another country? There are many success stories of immigrant writers, but there is yet another side of their stories to tell their challenges after migrating to another country, either by choice or in an event that forces a migration. Immigration not only results in binding of cultures, but also leads to a creative chaos in want of proper opportunities, recognition, and an environment to be creative and productive. A much-needed debate!



Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is a bilingual writer, poet, and filmmaker. Known for her poetry collection Bare Soul and three poetry books in Hindi, she received the Rajbhasha Award from the government of Bihar, India, and Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award for her contributions to literature and cinema.

Octavio Quintanilla is an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing. His Twitter handle is @OctQuintanilla.

Deema K. Shehabi is the author of Thirteen Departures from the Moon and coeditor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, for which she received the Northern California Book Award's NCBR Recognition Award. She's also coauthor with Marilyn Hacker of Diaspo/Renga.

Alex Cigale's own poems and translations from Russian have appeared in Colorado, Kenyon, New England, and the Literary Reviews, TriQuarterly, and World Literature Today. A 2015 NEA Literary Translation Fellow, his Russian Absurd: Daniil Kharms, Selected Writings is a Northwestern World Classics title.

Hedy Habra is the author of two poetry collections, Tea in Heliopolis and Under Brushstrokes; a short story collection, Flying Carpets; and a book of literary criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa. She teaches Spanish literature at Western Michigan University.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center