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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: September 10, 2001

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

GERMAN NOVELIST LECTURES SEPT. 12 -- The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will present a lecture by German novelist Rita Kuczynski at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the John C. Gerber Lounge (Room 304) of the UI English-Philosophy Building.

Her lecture, “The (East) German Writer as (West) German Citizen,” reflects an artistic career that began in East Berlin and continued in the ambivalently united Berlin of contemporary Germany.

Kuczynski first trained as a concert pianist and then worked as a philosopher specializing in Hegel before she became a writer. He latest novel, “Password: ‘Home,’” will appear early next year.

She is at the UI as a guest of the German department.

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.

To learn more about the IWP, visit <http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp> on the World Wide Web:. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

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IWP/WRITERS’ WORKSHOP READING SEPT. 16 -- Burmese fiction writer and poet Khin Lay Nyo and Palestinian poet, fiction writer and scriptwriter Ghassan Zaqtan, participants this fall in the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be featured in a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Poet Christopher Hund, a graduate student in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will also read.

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” (1999); “Prescription of a Description in Jerusalem” (1998) and “Weightless Sky” (1980). His novel, “Describing the Past,” was published in Jordan in 1995. Zaqtan has also written a number of scripts for various film documentaries. His play “The Narrow Sea” was honored at the 1994 Cairo Festival.

Nyo is public relations officer and content specialist of the Behavioral Change Communications Department for Population Services International in her country and is an ophthalmologist with training from the Republic of Congo. An author since 1979, Nyo has written more than a hundred short stories, articles and poems, and published 25 novels. She has successfully broached highly sensitive subjects such as AIDS, using her novels as vehicles for incremental change in public awareness.

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.

To learn more about the IWP and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, visit <http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp> and <http://www.uiowa.edu/~iww> the on the World Wide Web:. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

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McCRACKEN READS “LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS” -- Elizabeth McCracken, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will read from her new book, “Niagara Falls All Over Again,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will be broadcast on the “Live from Prairie Lights” series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

A review in Publishers Weekly said, “Any doubts that McCracken could not equal the inventiveness, wit and quirky imagination of her first novel, ‘The Giant’s House,’ will be dispelled by this relentlessly eventful, rollickingly funny and heartwarming narrative. Her story about a pair of vaudeville comedians explores a symbiotic relationship in vigorous, expressive prose. Narrator Mose Sharp relates his life from childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, to old age in Hollywood in a distinctive, mordantly humorous voice.”

McCracken arrived on the literary scene in 1993 with “Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry,” a collection of short stories written at the Writers Workshop. Her first novel, “The Giant’s House,” was nominated for a National Book Award, and won the Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

She has had fellowships including the Michener Fellowship from the UI, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Somerville Arts Council and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. Granta magazine selected her for its list of the 20 Best Novelists Under 40.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.