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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. 29, 1999

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

‘LOBSTER PLAY’ NOV. 8-10 -- University Theatres will present an all-undergraduate workshop production of "The Lobster Play," a "horrific comedy" written by Dan Brooks and directed by Kevin Wall at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 8-10 in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

In a story reminiscent of Ionesco, Kafka and Beckett, "The Lobster Play" portrays a man plagued by a recurring nightmare that his fiancée is metamorphosing into a lobster. He becomes so obsessed with overcoming this disturbing dream that he sinks into denial when she actually does develop claws and a chitinous tail.

The creators of "The Lobster Play" promise a high-energy amalgam of "comedy, tragedy, high concept, low humor, old-fashioned dialogue and avant-garde aesthetics."

Admission to "The Lobster Play" will be $1 at the door.

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PERSPECTIVES, NOV. 10 -- Julie Hochstrasser, assistant professor of art history at the University of Iowa, will give a lecture followed by a gallery tour at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the UI Museum of Art.

Her presentation relates to the current museum exhibition "Old Master Drawings from the Permanent Collection," which includes works by Georgio Vasari, Claude Lorrain and Thomas Gainsborough. Hochstrasser’s lecture and tour are part of the weekly Perspectives series, held Wednesdays at the museum. Admission is free to both the museum and the lecture series.

The UI Museum of Art, located at North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Hochstrasser’s talk. 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.

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NISSEN AND REISMAN READ NOV. 10 -- Thisbe Nissen and Nancy Reisman will read from their new award-winning collections of short fiction published by the University of Iowa Press at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 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.

Nissen’s book, "Out of the Girls’ Room and Into the Night," won the 1999 John Simmons Award, a national competition juried by Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Marilynne Robinson, author of "Housekeeping," writes, "These stories abound in a rich life, holding sad, awkward, edgy contemporaneity in their generous embrace . . . There is a great originality and great freedom in Thisbe Nissen’s approach to her subject, a kind of classicism in her lucid and compassionate interest in the ways of the present world."

Nissen received her Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1997. Her stories have appeared in "Story" and "Seventeen Magazine." She is currently a James Michener — Paul Engle Fellow at the UI. She lives in West Liberty.

Reisman’s collection, "House Fires," won the 1999 Iowa Short Fiction Award, also juried by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Ann Patchett, author of "The Magician’s Assistant," writes, "The stories in ‘House Fires’ are old-fashioned in the best sense. Expertly plotted and deeply imagined, they fulfill our desire to be told a tale. Reisman has written a generous, beautiful collection."

Reisman earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her stories have appeared in "Lilith," "Glimmer Train," and "American Fiction." She was the winner of the 1996 Raymond Carver Award.

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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EXHIBITION AT MUSEUM OF ART POSTPONED -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art exhibition "From Hayter to Pettibon: American Workshop Prints from the Permanent Collection," originally slated to run from Nov. 13, 1999 through Jan. 9, 2000, has had its opening date postponed to Friday, Feb. 4, 2000. The exhibition currently in the museum’s Carver Gallery, "Art is Life/Life is Art: The Graphic Work of Dieter Roth," presenting a selection of Roth’s artists’ books, prints, and drawings from 1957 to 1997, has been extended until early December 1999.

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ART OF THE MONTH, NOV. 13 -- Justin Quinn, a graduate student in the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will present "Jess: Pasted Poetry," at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13 in the UI Museum of Art.

This will be the third and final lecture in the Art of the Month mini-course presented by the Museum of Art during the fall semester. The fall course, "Literary Connections: Klinger, Picasso, and Jess," is free to the public. New participants are welcome at each session.

The monthly sessions are held in the Member‘s Lounge of the Museum of Art. This fall the program has been sub-titled "Satisfy your Appetite for Art." Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery of Iowa City will provide a mini-brunch of coffee, bagels and cream cheese for each session. Seating in the Member’s Lounge will be limited.

Quinn’s lecture will focus on the work of artist Jess Collins, known as Jess. The lifelong partner of poet Robert Duncan, Jess was associated with the Beat movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. His visionary work has led some to compare him with diverse figures including Max Ernst and James Joyce.

Joining an individual sensibility and experiments with images, Jess has created a range of internally focused collages and paintings that bring together word and graphic description. Quinn’s lecture will explore these issues, providing a basic overview of the earlier work in addition to offering a glimpse into the artist’s reclusive life.

"Jess did not produce many works in his lifetime," reports Quinn. "We’re lucky to have what we do." Quinn hopes his lecture will "raise people’s awareness of non-mainstream artists -- people really not working in the most public vein of art -- (who are) influential to later generations."

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 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.

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NOV. 13 GRAHAM READING POSTPONED -- Poet Jorie Graham’s reading of selected poems from her new book, "Swarm," originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13 has been postponed until spring, pending the arrival of the new volume. A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Graham is the head of the poetry section of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The reading will be part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series broadcast live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM. 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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KIMBALL READS NOV. 16 -- Philip Kimball will read from his second novel, "Liar’s Moon," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16 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.

Philip Caputo writes, "’Liar’s Moon’ is a tall tale of the old West that tells what the old West probably was like for those who lived it -- gritty, vulgar, desperate and no fun at all, yet full of the raw vitality and hopes of people seeking to slip the bonds of the past, of history itself."

Kimball grew up working on his family’s farm in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1963. He later studied as Woodrow Wilson Fellow and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Heidelberg. After a few years of teaching, he left the academic world to pursue a variety of blue-collar jobs while writing his first novel, "Harvesting Ballads."

One critic responded, "You’d think it couldn’t be done now, the large loose novel of heartland America . . . But I know for a fact it can be done because Philip Kimball has done it magnificently."

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