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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. 13, 2000

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

YEE AND HAO READ OCT. 22 -- Vietnamese fiction writer Vo Thi Hao and Burmese novelist Nu Nu Yee, both participants in the University of Iowa International Writing Program, will read from their work at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22 at Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will also feature poet David Rosenthal, a student in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Hao, the Hanoi bureau chief of the HCMC Women’s Newspaper, is the author of the short story collections "The Sea-Savior from Idleness," "Selected Collection of Short Stories" and
"Held-Back Laughter." She has also written "The Owl’s Sleep," a collection of short stories for young adults, and "Green Goddess," a collection for children. Hao’s "Selected Collection of Short Stories" earned her the Vietnam Writers’ Union’s Five-Year Hanoi Literary Award. Hao’s stories have been translated into Japanese, French and English. Her participation in the IWP is supported by the U.S. Department of State.

Yee has written more than a dozen novels and four collections of short fiction. Her first novel, "A Timid ‘What Can I Do for You,’" is a study of market vendors in Upper Burma, and her subsequent works have explored the lives of women, children and urban and industrial workers in Myanmar. Her 1993 novel "Emerald Green Blue Kamayut," which depicts the urban poor, received Myanmar’s National Literary Award. Yee’s work has been translated into Japanese and English. She is taking part in the IWP through a grant from the Burma Project of the Open Society Institute. She writes under the name Nu Nu Yiy Inwa.

A unique residency program, the IWP brings established writers of the world to the UI, where they become part of the lively literary community on campus. Founded in 1967, the program has played host to nearly a thousand writers from 115 countries.

This year, under new director Christopher Merrill, the IWP is hosting 18 writers from 15 countries. To learn more about the IWP, visit the program’s site on the World Wide Web: http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp.

(PRONUNCIATION GUIDE FOR BROADCASTERS: Vo Thi Hao is pronounced voh tee how. Nu Nu Yee is pronounced noo noo yee)

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KUUSISTO READS OCT. 24 -- Poet and essayist Stephen Kuusisto, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will read from his new collection of poetry, "Only Bread, Only Light," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Kuusisto, who is legally blind, is the author of "Planet of the Blind," a memoir in which he describes how for almost four decades he hid and denied his condition. His poems and essays have appeared in the Antioch Review, the Partisan Review, Harper’s, Glamour Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. A former Fulbright scholar, Kuusisto teaches creative writing at Ohio State University.

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times has called Kuusisto "a powerful writer with a musical ear for language and a gift for emotional candor." A Publishers Weekly review said of Kuusisto’s "Planet of the Blind," "The sightless Kuusisto escorts readers across the planet of the blind, on a somber, exquisitely phrased, ultimately uplifting visit. So powerful is his narration that it will alter the reader’s perception of blindness."

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

For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.>

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CHABON READS ‘LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS’ OCT. 25 -- Novelist Michael Chabon, author of "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and "Wonder Boys," will read from his new novel, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series on the UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

In addition to his novels, Chabon has published two collections of short stories, "A Model World" and "Werewolves in Their Youth." A film version of "Wonder Boys," directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire, was released earlier this year.

Jonathan Yardley has called Chabon "the young star of American letters." Janet Maslin of the New York Times says "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" is a "big, ripe, excitingly imaginative novel."

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

For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.>

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LECTURE ON VELAZQUEZ PAINTING OCT. 25 -- Svetlana Alpers, the 2000 Stanley Distinguished Lecturer in Art History at the University of Iowa, will speak on "The Painter’s Museum: Velazquez and ‘The Spinners’" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Room E109 of the UI Art Building.

Alpers will be the second annual Stanley Distinguished Lecturer in Art History. Her lecture is sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History, with support from the Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa.

Alpers explained that in her lecture, "with the help of Velazquez’s painting known as ‘The Spinners’ we shall try to see the museum from a painter’s point of view. How is this related to the experience we have in museums today?"

Alpers is professor emerita at the University of California at Berkeley as well as a visiting research professor in the department of fine arts at New York University. She is the author of numerous books on art history, including "The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the 17th Century," "Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market," "Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence" and "The Making of Rubens."

In her distinguished career as an art historian she has served on the boards of professional and academic organizations, been an editor for magazines and books, and had many articles published in scholarly journals and anthologies. Her professional awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for the Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the American Council of Learned Societies; visiting appointments at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities; selection to membership in the Center for Advanced Study at Princeton University; and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the web site of the Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa at http://www.uiowa.edu/~vpr/research/units/pasala.htm.

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LECTURE ON ‘DIGITAL ART IN THE BALTICS’ OCT. 25 -- Kathleen A. Edwards, curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the University of Iowa Museum of Art will present a lecture on "Digital Art in the Baltics" at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the museum. Edwards lecture will be free and open to the public.

Following up on previous work with artists in the Baltic countries -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- Edwards recently returned to the region to investigate the impact of the computer on artistic strategies. Her slide presentation will examine various aspects of these societies in transition, as reflected in the work of six artists.

"The development of the computer as an artistic tool reflects the constant and swift change of everyday life," Edwards said. "In the Baltic countries, the transition to digital media occurred through experiences in the workplace. Technology first altered the structure of the culture, then artists started creating new visual languages.

"Consequently, the computer is seen more and more as a new kind of space, paralleling reality, and the aesthetics of communication have replaced traditional definitions of beauty. At the same time, artists are finding that they automatically belong to a global system, with immediate access to a large and diverse audience."

Edwards has been a curator at the museum since 1998. Previously she was the director of the Print Center in Philadelphia where she was curator of more than 75 exhibitions and artist residencies. She holds degrees in art history and art education from the University of Richmond and Philadelphia College of Art. She has presented numerous lectures and by invitation has juried exhibitions around the world.

Her three-week trip in June was sponsored with grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the International Center. She will present the same topic at the College Art Association meeting in Chicago in February.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2000-2001 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Edwards’ talk. Admission is free.

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HECHT READS OCT. 26 -- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anthony Hecht, who was a student in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in Room 221 of the UI Chemistry Building. The reading, which is co-sponsored by the Writers’ Workshop and the International Writing Program, is free and open to the public.

Hecht received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1967 collection "The Hard Hours." His other books of poetry include "The Transparent Man," "Venetian Vespers," "Millions of Strange Shadows" and "A Summoning of Stones." His most recent collection, "Flight Among the Tombs," was published in 1996.

Hecht is also the author of "On the Laws of Poetic Art: The Andrew Mellon Lectures" and "Obbligati: Essays in Criticism." He was a co-translator with Helen Bacon of Aeschylus’s "Seven Against Thebes."

Hecht has received the Bollingen prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Award, the Librex-Guggenheim Eugenio Montale Award and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award. He has been awarded fellowships by the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

For more information about the reading, contact the Writers’ Workshop at 319-335-0416. For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

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PUMPKIN CARVING AT THE UI MUSEUM OF ART OCT. 27 -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present "Pumpkin Carving: The Art of the Pumpkin" at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Presented in anticipation of Halloween just four days later, "The Art of the Pumpkin" is part of a series of public events being held at the museum on Friday evenings through the fall semester. It will be free and open to the public.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2000-2001 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays during the fall semester. 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.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

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PALMER READS OCT. 28 -- Poet Michael Palmer, whom some have called the most significant poet of his generation, will read from his work at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, in Room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building on the University of Iowa campus. The reading, which is co-sponsored by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the International Writing Program, is free and open to the public.

Palmer’s most recent collection, "The Promises of Glass," was published in March. He is the author of eight other books of poetry: "The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995," "At Passages," "Sun," "First Figure," "Notes for Echo Lake," "Without Music," "The Circular Gates" and "Blake’s Newton." Palmer has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.

The Voice Literary Supplement has labeled Palmer "the most influential avant-gardist working, and perhaps the greatest poet of his generation." In his poems, Rosmarie Waldrop says, "we seem to move, still with the ease of a dream, among parts of an argument as large as the mind itself."

For more information about the reading, contact the Writers’ Workshop at 319-335-0416. For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.>

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NEW MUSICAL WORKS BY UI STUDENTS OCT. 29 -- The Composer's Workshop at the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert of new works by student composers at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The performance will feature three works: Three Etudes by graduate student Michael Cash; "Birdsong" for solo piano by graduate student Adam Lewis, performed by the composer; and "Ma’aleh" for tape by undergraduate student John Ritz.

"Birdsong" was inspired by an anonymous poem of the same name, written in 1941 by an inmate in the Terezin concentration camp in Austria. The concentration camp was home to a school for children up through age 14 where the teachers, also prisoners in the camp, encouraged their students to express their emotions through the arts, primarily poetry, drawing and painting.

"‘Birdsong’ is not meant to be a startling political or moral statement," the composer wrote, "but simply a reminder that despite the pain and frustration these children suffered, the efforts of a few dedicated individuals helped to preserve the brilliance of these young artists."

The Composer's Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater co-operation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area. The workshop is directed by David Gompper, professor of music in the Theory and Composition Department of the School of Music and director of the Center for New Music.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. The Composer's Workshop web page is located at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/COMPwksh.html.