International Writing Program Sends Former U.S. Poet Laureate to Burma

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass speaks with university students in Rangoon, Burma, January 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

For centuries, great writers have opened windows into other worlds, and allowed countries — often for the very first time — a glimpse into a different culture and a different way of living. Through their work, writers connect cultures on a people-to-people level. The art of creative writing is fundamental to freedom of expression and a reason why the U.S. Department of State has sponsors exchange programs like the International Writing Program.

This past month, the State Department sent four of the best American writers and poets on our first International Writing Program delegation to Burma. The group included former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, writers Brenda Hillman and ZZ Packer, and Christopher Merrill, director of the… more »

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