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Release: May 26, 2000

Two UI International Writing Program veterans win Israel's highest civilian honor

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two veterans of the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) -- Amalia Kahana-Carmon and Meir Weiseltier -- are winners of the 2000 Israel Prize, the top civilian award in Israel. The prize was awarded at a formal state ceremony held in Jerusalem on Israel Independence Day -- May 10, 2000 -- and attended by President Ezer Weizmann, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Supreme Court President Professor Aharon Barak.

Kahana-Carmon, a 1979 IWP participant, received the prize in literature, in recognition of her unique style, subject matter and narrative skills. She is currently a lecturer at Israel's Open University.

Weiseltier was awarded the Israel Prize in recognition of his original literary works and his translations of English, French and Russian poetry into Hebrew. The co-founder of the Hebrew literary magazine Siman Kriah, Weiseltier attended the IWP in 1982.

Both writers' residencies were supported by the U.S.-Israel Educational Foundation, which will support the 2000 IWP residency of playwright Motti Lerner.

The IWP is a unique residency program that brings together the writers of the world. Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers' residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. The IWP brings established writers of the world to the UI, where they become part of the lively literary community on campus -- which includes the world-renowned UI Writers' Workshop, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the English department's program in literary non-fiction. Over the years, nearly a thousand writers from 115 countries have completed residencies in the program.

To learn more about the IWP, visit the program's site on the World Wide Web: http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp.