Back to All Events

Bicultural Iowa Writers' Fellowship Reading and Signing: Des Moines Arts Festival

  • Des Moines Arts Festival Western Gateway Park Downtown Des Moines, IA (map)


The Bicultural Iowa Writers' Fellowship (BIWF) is the state's first fully functioning residency for emerging writers who are bicultural and immigrant Iowans. This fellowship was developed by the Iowa Writers' House to support the telling of their stories. These readings focus on the Fellows's final collection, WE THE INTERWOVEN. There will be a reading and a signing at the Des Moines Arts Festival, Sunday, July 24th, 2018.


Sadagat Alieva was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the Soviet Era of Stagnation, and always had a burning desire for freedom. She was drawn to arts, poetry, and spirituality as a child. Her desire of freedom eventually brought her to Iowa. Her fictional folktale-like stories tell of the magic and beauty in human nature.

Jesus "Chuy" Renteria is an artist, writer, dancer, and a storyteller. Raised in West Liberty, both sides of his family are from border towns in Mexico that were transplanted to meat packing towns in the Midwest. Chuy tells stories celebrating the spaces between culture, of mangled Spanglish and generational clashes, of the messiness of people finding themselves.

Melissa Palma is the daughter of Filipino immigrants and grew up in a multi-generational household with her grandparents, parents, and little sister, in Waterloo, Iowa. Today she's a graduate of the University of Iowa, dedicating her life to helping others. Her stories tell tales of a life centered in "Ang pamilya," the Tagalong word for family.