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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Oct. 8, 1999

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

NASLUND READS OCT. 19 -- University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Sena Naslund will read from her new novel, "Ahab's Wife," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Critic Wally Lamb writes, "Line up the literary prizes. Rendered in language both lush and luminous, 'Ahab's Wife' is sustenance for the mind and the soul."

Brett Lott, the author of 'Jewel,' describes Naslund's novel as an "epic tour de force" that "deserves its rightful place next to Melville's classic."

Naslund is Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville and is on the faculty of Vermont College. She is cofounder of the Louisville Review and of the Fleur-de-Lis Press.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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PERSPECTIVES, OCT. 20 -- Barbara Frank, a leading authority on African ceramics, will speak on "Nansa Doumbiya: African Artist, Matriarch and Guardian of the Past" at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

The lecture, given in conjunction with the exhibition "Shaping Earth: African Vessels," is part of the weekly Perspectives series held every Wednesday at the museum. Admission is free to both the museum and the lecture series.

Frank, a professor of art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, specializes in the pottery traditions of Mali. Her book on potters and leatherworkers in Mande, an ethnic region of Mali, was recently published by the Smithsonian Institute Press. She and Victoria Rovine, the UI Museum of Art's curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, have met several times in Mali.

Doumbiya is one of a number of Mande potters with whom Frank has worked closely and observed over a period of time. Pottery-making is a tradition inherited by women, and specific beliefs with regard to the family govern the crafting of these artistic and highly functional items. Slides of Doumbiya's work will be shown during the Perspectives program.

"Individual artists are so rarely the focus in discussions of African art," says Rovine, who hopes this lecture's look at a single artist will "enliven people's experience of African pottery."

The UI Museum of Art, located at North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Frank's talk. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1999-2000 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Doumbiya is pronounced DOOM-bee-yah.)

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LISICKY READS OCT. 20 — Paul Lisicky will read from his new novel, "Lawnboy," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

"Lawnboy" is a gay coming-of-age story set in Miami, Fla. UI alumnus and recent Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham writes, "'Lawnboy' is quite simply the real thing, a novel of mystery and great beauty." He describes Lisicky as "a writer who can find tragedy and transcendence almost everywhere he looks."

UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Elizabeth McCracken, author of "The Giant's House," concludes, "Nobody writes about hilarious longing the way Paul Lisicky does . . . His characters are loveable and fallible; his prose is gorgeous."

Lisicky's stories and essays have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Michener/Copernicus Society.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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MORGAN READS OCT. 21 -- Speer Morgan, novelist and editor of the Missouri Review, will read from his most recent novel, "The Freshour Cylinders," at 8 p.m. Thursday Oct. 21 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Commenting on "The Freshour Cylinders," which won the American Book Award in 1998, UI alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler writes, "Using the rich metaphors of a pre-Columbian Indian civilization, Morgan weds strong storytelling with deep artistic resonance. This is a splendid achievement."

Morgan is the author of four novels and a collection of stories. He also wrote "Conversations with American Novelists," a collection of interviews with contemporary authors.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

BECKETT'S 'PLAY' OCT. 21-24 -- The University Theatres Gallery Series will present "Play", a one-act by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 21-23 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24 in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

Beckett's three characters spend "Play" immobilized in urns, confined with "faces so lost to age and aspect as to seem almost part of the urns." Prompted by a light to speak, the characters' voices blend to tell the story of a love triangle, now faded, from whose narrative they can never escape. Forever frozen in time they are left to ask the question if their lives have been "just . . . play."

Director Mary Ellen O'Hara, a graduate student in the department of theatre arts, says, "Set in a space which defies the boundaries of time -- centering upon the timeless issue of identity — 'Play' is an astounding theatrical work that deftly combines drama and comedy in order to force us to question our own actions and existence."

The Gallery production of "Play" features lighting design by William Barbour and urns designed by Sarah Greer and Mike Schmidt.

Admission will be $5 ($3 for UI students, senior citizens and youth) at the door.