Festival of Hope 2 / 19 February 2021

Literature in the Making with the poets Xuela Zhang and Anca Roncea

Introduction by Matthias Göritz.

Festival of Hope 2





Xuela Zhang was born and raised in China. She received her MFA from Columbia University. Her poems have appeared in  Shikan [Poetry Magazine, China] and the anthology: I have Heard Time: Chinese Poets Born in the 90s.  



Anca Roncea grew up in Romanian, speaks Modern Greek, French, and writes in English. She has lived in Bucharest, Iowa City, Yangon, Los Angeles, Paris and New York. Through her work she explores the space where language can create pivots in the midst of displacement retracing the aesthetics of the women artists of the Dada Movement. She is a current PhD student in the Washington University in Saint Louis, International Writers' Track. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the UIowa Literary Translation MFA program and her work can be found in the Berkeley Poetry Review, Beecher's Magazine, Omniverse and Asymptote, the Bare Life Review and Lana Turner. 



Matthias Göritz is the author of four volumes of poetry, three novellas and three novels—including Der kurze Traum des Jakob Voss (The Short Dream of Jakob Voss), 2005, winner of the Hamburg Literature Prize, Radio Bavaria Prize, and the Mara Cassens Prize. His most recent novel is Parker (C.H. Beck, 2018). He teaches as Professor of the Practice in Comparative Literature at Washington University. 


The International Writers Track in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis

This PhD track in comparative literature aimed at international writers proceeds from the conviction that advanced study and credentials in literary studies support and enhance the intellectual and creative work of writers by complementing and informing their endeavors with comparative historical, cultural, linguistic, and theoretical frameworks. It offers highly qualified international students the opportunity to advance their careers with academic training in comparative literary studies in the United States. 

“Writer” in our sense comprises fiction writers, poets, essayists, journalists, translators, screenwriters, filmmakers, and public intellectuals. As an internationally-renowned center of literary study in multiple languages and home to one of the best creative writing programs in the country, WashU offers a rich intellectual and cultural foundation for writers from all backgrounds. We recruit candidates who would benefit from pursuing such studies in a context where they can simultaneously work on their writing, make literary contacts, pursue comparative literary and theoretical studies and complete translations of their work (collaborating with fellow graduate students when appropriate). Students completing the program are not necessarily expected to pursue university teaching positions in the United States or elsewhere worldwide, although they may choose to do so; the degree is offered with the expectation that it will help them enter the world of writing and publishing beyond the academy and in their respective home countries.