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Voices of Freedom Speak in Ithaca

Josh Brokaw on ICOA’s 15th anniversary.

Refuge of Visionaries

Preview of ICOA’s 15th anniversary celebration from the Ithaca Times.

Neither Here nor There: The Shifting Identities of Raza Rumi

“You receive ideas from here or there: you’ve read Marx and you’ve read Hegel and you’ve read Adam Smith. But memory is your own territory. And I feel that those little territories, when they combine and turn into collective memories, or when they’re doctored or engineered by states, or by the powerful interests, they take another shape. Often states rewrite memories.”

from Sampsonia Way, the magazine published by Pittsburgh City of Asylum

Writer in Exile Raza Rumi Presents Lecture

The Cornell Chronicle features Raza Rumi.

Samarasinghe Judges High School Writing Contest

Samarasinghe is interviewed about being one of the jurors for FLEFF’s “The Dissonance Project,” a writing contest for high school students.

Ithaca Organization Houses, Protects Exiled Writers

by Eric Oberman

The Cornell Daily Sun highlights the support ICOA has received from the Park Foundation.

“The Hotbed of Imminent Danger”: Sri Lankan Writer Sonali Samarasinghe

by Rachel Webber

In an interview with Rachel Webber, Samarasinghe discussed the current climate of free speech in Sri Lanka, the government’s involvement in Lasantha Wickrematunge’s death, and the risks associated with her writing today.

Ithaca City of Asylum Welcomes Sri Lankan Journalist Sonali Samarasinghe to Town (2012)

By Edward Hower

On Jan. 8, 2009, a newspaper editor was murdered. His wife, a prize-winning journalist now living in Ithaca, had begged him not to go to the office that day. …

Wells College: Bringing The World To Wells (2009)

In December 2006, Irakli Kakabadze and Anna Dolidze fled the Georgian Republic when, due to their outspoken criticism of the government, they faced repeated attacks and arrests. By the fall 2007, Kakabadze, a renowned political activist, and Dolidze, a human rights lawyer, had begun a new life in America with their infant son…

All Things Considered: Banned Writers Find Refuge In U.S. Cities (2007)

Cities of Refuge North America is an organization that takes in banned writers, hoping to buoy them from hostile homelands to life and work in a U.S. city. One such city is Ithaca, New York where Bridget Meeds runs the local organization. Meeds and writer in residence Sarah Mkhonza speak with Andrea Seabrook…

Cornell Chronicle: Dissident And Novelist Finds Sanctuary At Cornell (2006)

“I didn’t attach writing to politics; I just thought it was important to inform Swazis about certain simple things that can be harmful,” says writer Sarah Mkhonza [pronounced mm-KON-za] of her fictional stories that tell of violence against women and other injustices in her native country, Swaziland, the southeast African nation that is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies…

Ithaca College Quarterly: China Connection (2003)

When Liz Bishop ’04 first read the phrases “Baby grass lead along sunlight” and “Times step in pace of wedding,” she was baffled. She was expected to take these words — loose translations from a Chinese poem — and turn them into poetry that accurately conveys the poet’s intent. Bishop’s writing professor Jerry Mirskin had arranged for her poetry class to help translate several poems written by Chinese writer Yi Ping, who is living in exile in Ithaca…

Poets & Writers: Ithaca Named Second U.S. City Of Asylum (2001)

In October, Ithaca, New York, was officially designated a city of asylum for exiled writers, only the second of its kind in the U.S. Ithaca is the newest member of a worldwide network of cities that is maintained by the International Parliament of Writers, an organization based in Paris. Cities of Asylum offer refuge to writers whose works are repressed, whose cultures are vanishing, or whose languages are endangered. Each of the 27 cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Vienna, and Mexico City, provides exiled writers and their families with housing, part-time employment, a monthly stipend, and medical, legal, and social support…

Arts Wire Current: Yi Ping Becomes Ithaca City Of Asylum’s First Resident Writer (2001)

In October, the Ithaca City of Asylum project welcomed Chinese poet and essayist Yi Ping to a two-year residency. Yi Ping, who is exiled from China because of his participation in democracy activism, will spend two years in Ithaca with his family. While in Ithaca, he will write about Chinese culture, literature, and politics, and write poetry, plays, and novels — as well as translate and teach part-time in the Cornell University Asian Studies department…


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