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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Aug. 22, 2001

Columnist Harlan Cohen, Kurt Vonnegut begin UI Lecture Series

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Harlan Cohen, writer of "Help Me, Harlan!" a nationally syndicated newspaper advice columnist for teens and twenty-somethings, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., writer and University of Iowa Writers' Workshop lecturer, are featured speakers for the 2001-02 UI Lecture Committee season, beginning Aug. 29.

Cohen, contributor to "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III", will give his presentation at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 29 in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union. Vonnegut, who wrote the bestsellers "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Timequake," will appear at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 for a lecture in the Main Lounge of the IMU. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Written and screened audience questions will be taken after the Vonnegut lecture. Both lectures are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. The lecture events are a part of WOW! 2001, the UI's Weeks of Welcome program for new and returning students.

Cohen, 28, has made a name for himself dispensing blithe, but serious advice to his print and online audiences since late 1995, the year he determined teens and college students needed a national forum to share their thoughts and ideas as part of a community. This fall Cohen will begin a new column, which is expected to appear in the "Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition," and in the "Chicago Tribune."

Vonnegut has published scores of short stories, including 17 novels and assorted works of nonfiction. His fame, wittiness, and ability as a writer to create plots and characters with imaginative eccentricity and verve, has inspired an international readership. His latest work, "Bagombo Snuff Box," contains 23 previously uncollected short stories.

All UI Lecture Series lectures are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Lecture Committee in advance at (319) 335-3255 or the committee chair at thomas-kroeger@uiowa.edu.