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 Oct. 30, 2017 | 7pm Reading

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The 2017 From Away lineup:

Hajar Bali (playwright, fiction writer, poet; Algeria) was, until 2016, a professor of mathematics at the University of Sciences and Technology in Algiers. Her collection of stage plays, Rêve et vol d’oiseaux [Dream and Birdflight] appeared in 2010; a collection of stories, Trop tard, in 2014. She has held writing residencies in France and Switzerland, and is now the general secretary of the L’Imago Cultural Association in Algiers. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State


Santiago Giralt (playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, fiction writer; Argentina) writes plays, screenplays, and novels, and directs films. In 2017, he was awarded the National Arts Fund Bi-Centennial Grant in Literature. His first novel, [Nelly R, the General’s Lover], was shortlisted for the 2008 Planeta International Prize; La Mala memoria came out in 2015; Disparo is forthcoming. He has written and directed over a dozen films, and participated in many international film festivals. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.


Subraj Singh (playwright, fiction writer, journalist, critic; Guyana) teaches at the University of Guyana and the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama and has a weekly arts column in the Guyana Chronicle. His Rebelle and Other Stories won the 2015 Guyana Prize for Literature as the Best First Book of Fiction; his play “Masque” won the 2016 National Drama Festival Awards for Best New Guyanese Play and Best Production. He participates thanks to the William B. Quarton Fund through the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.


Xavier Villanova (playwright, screenwriter, actor, translator; Mexico) has had his work staged in Mexico, the US, and Venezuela; in 2011, the Lark Play Development Center in New York workshopped his Acheron: The River of TragedyOcean Blues, co-written by him and based on his eponymous play, is on Netflix. In 2010 he won the National Playwright Award given by the UANL, and received a grant from the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas. He teaches theatre history at Universidad de la Comunicación in Mexico City. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.


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.