Paul Engle Creates the International Writing Program

Paul Engle Creates the International Writing Program


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In 1967, Paul and Hualing Engle founded the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

The notion to start a program for foreign writers came to her one day in 1966, while she and Engle were on an outing at the Coralville Reservoir. As Paul swam, she thought about her troubles integrating into the community of writers that Engle had brought to Iowa City. When he rejoined her for a boat ride on the lake, she mentioned her desire to start a similar program exclusively for established foreign writers. His immediate reaction was: “That’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard!”

The idea worked and today over 1,500 writers have attented the IWP. In 1976, over three hundred writers nominated the Engles for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Alumni, University of Iowa. “Brothers and Sisters of the Pen.” Iowa Alumni Magazine: Brothers and Sisters of the Pen, 1987