From Away

From Away is an annual festival of new work celebrating the voices of international writers. Each year, From Away brings talented writers from around the world to Portland, where excerpts from their work are performed in translation by Portland Stage’s Affiliate Artists. The readings are followed by an open forum discussion among the writers, the participating artists, and the audience. From Away will take place at Portland Stage, 25A Forest Avenue in Portland, and is open to the public on a “Pay-What-You-Can” basis.

From Away Nov. 1, 2016 | 7pm Reading

The 20th annual From Away festival will feature: Obari Gomba (poet, playwright) of Nigeria, Mariano Tenconi Blanco (playwright) of Argentina, Yaroslava Pulinovich (playwright) of Russia, and the Affiliate Artists.

obari-gomba_nigeriaObari GOMBA (poet, playwright; Nigeria) teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, and has facilitated writing workshops for the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital. In 2013 the volume Length of Eyes was longlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature. The most recent of his three poetry collections, Thunder Protocol, appeared in 2015. He writes on issues of class, justice, and culture.

tenconi-blancoMariano TENCONI BLANCO (playwright, Argentina) has written nine plays and directed several plays and operas; his work had been performed in many countries. Among his awards is the first prize for New Playwright given by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Culture for [Everything would make sense if death did not exist] (2015).


yaroslava-pulinovich_russiaYaroslava PULINOVICH (playwright; Russia) is an actress as well as a prolific playwright. Her plays are performed in in Russia and abroad. The film adaptation of her play [“I won’t come back”] has received recognition at international film festivals in Rotterdam, Vlissingen, Moscow, and New York City. Moscow Times named her play [“Natasha’s Dream”] as one of the top ten Russian plays of the 21st c.


International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa
From Away is produced in collaboration with the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa, a unique residency program that brings together the writers of the world. Founded in 1967, the IWP brings established writers from around the globe to the University of Iowa, where they become part of a lively literary community on campus. Over the years, well over a thousand poets, writers, and dramatists from more than 130 countries have completed residencies in the program.

Rochelle Potkar from the 2015 From Away Festival

Many of the writers who have taken part in From Away have pushed for social change in their countries through the power of metaphor and the written word, and give Portland audiences a first-hand, behind-the-headlines perspective on artistic and political issues from around the globe. From Away takes place near the culmination of the writers’ three-month residency in the International Writing Program, and has become a favorite event of many writers.