CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 11, 2001
IWP writers from Norway, West Bank will read Oct. 21 in Prairie Lights
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poets Torunn Borge from Norway and Ghassan Zaqtan from
the West Bank, participants this fall in the University of Iowa International
Writing Program (IWP), will be featured in a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday,
Oct. 21, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown
Iowa City. Fiction writer Chelsey Johnson, a graduate student in the Iowa
Writers' Workshop, will also read.
Borge is an established and well-respected figure in Norwegian literary circles.
She is a freelance writer and translator of articles, children's books and
cartoons. Her most recent publication is the nonfiction work "Fear of
God." Her poetry collections include "An Infinite Durability"
and "The Interval."
Zaqtan is co-founder and director of the House of Poetry in Ramallah. He
is chief editor for the Al-Shua'ra (Poets) quarterly and writes weekly columns
for two newspapers in Ramallah and in the Gulf. His poetry collections include
"Luring the Mountain in Beirut," "Prescription of a Description
in Jerusalem" and "Weightless Sky." His novel, "Describing
the Past," was published in Jordan in 1995. Zaqtan has also written a
number of scripts for various film documentaries. He is currently working
on a poetry/prose anthology whose theme is "roads," comparing paths
in life with the physical environment. His play "The Narrow Sea"
was honored at the 1994 Cairo Festival.
Thirty writers representing 24 countries are now in residence at the IWP
through Nov. 20. The IWP was the first international writers residency at
a university, and it remains unique in world literature. Over the years, nearly
a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies
in the program.
Like most IWP residency groups, the 2001 community is a mix of poets, fiction
writers, screenwriters, playwrights, journalists, essayists and critics. Many
of the IWP writers will travel from Iowa City to present lectures, symposia
and readings at other campuses in Iowa and throughout the country, and to
visit places of cultural or historical interest.
The IWP is staffed and housed by the University of Iowa. IWP writers have
been financed by the United States State Department, through bilateral agreements
with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments
abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations,
foundations and individuals.
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