S203. Two-Country Careers: Writers on Living and Writing in More than One Place

F150, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Writers who divide their time between two countries are crucial bridges between America and the world. Immersed in two literary cultures, two languages, and sometimes two ethical systems, writers who go abroad and return and leave again often enter a state of disorientation—and perhaps, skepticism of seemingly basic truths—which is important for creative work. Panelists who spend part of each year abroad discuss how a two-country life affects writing, reading, and translating.



Aviya Kushner is the author of The Grammar of God. She is the language columnist at The Forward and a Howard Foundation fellow in nonfiction. An associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, she is also a contributing editor at A Public Space.

Cole Swensen is the author of seventeen books of poetry, most recently On Walking On. A 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, she has won the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, and the 2004 PEN/USA Award in Translation, among others. She teaches in Literary Arts at Brown University.

Curtis Bauer is a poet, translator, letterpress printer, chapbook publisher, and teacher. He lives in Lubbock, TX where he teaches Creative Writing & Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University, runs Q Avenue Press, and is Translations Editor for The Common.

Xu Xi 許素細 is author of fourteen books, most recently This Fish is Fowl (essays), Insignificance (stories), Dear Hong Kong (elegy memoir), and That Man in Our Lives (novel). She is Faculty Codirector of the International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Martha Cooley is the author of two novels: The Archivist (a national bestseller) and Thirty-Three Swoons, as well as a memoir, Guesswork. Her short fiction, essays, and translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines. She judged the 2011 PEN American Center prize for poetry in translation.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center