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CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: Feb. 18, 2002

Cuban poet to discuss personal freedoms, personal writings Feb. 22

"Personal Freedoms, Personal Writings: Rights, Duties, and Needs of a New Writer in a New Cuba" will be the theme of a talk by Cuban poet and playwright Norge Espinosa to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) Friday, Feb. 22 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Congregational Church, 30 N. Market Street, Iowa City.

Espinosa, the University of Iowa International Programs' Spring 2002 Writer-in-Residence, has accomplished a great deal in 30 years. Since the age of 14, he has been collaborating with groups of Cuban writers. As a 17-year-old, he won the prestigious National Prize of Poetry from the cultural magazine, El Caimán Barbudo, for his book "Las Breves Tribulaciones" ("The Brief Tribulations"). In 1992, he graduated with a Gold Title from the National School of Instructors of Theater.

Since then Espinosa has published collections of poetry, plays, and an anthology. His children's play "Sácame Del Apuro" ("The Charmed Shrimp") performed by the theatrical group Pálpito won many awards, including the National Festival of Performing Arts' best text for children. He also published a children's book, "Los Pequenos Prodigios" ("Little Miracles") in 1996.

Espinosa serves as director of the Havana bookstore, Libreria El Ateneo, works as a production assistant for the magazine, Revista Tablas, and is one of the leaders of the theatre, Teatro El Público. For the last three years, he has organized a weeklong gay and lesbian cultural festival in Havana. Two of Espinosa's poems, "Vestido De Novia" ("Bridal Gown") and "Dejar La Isla" ("Leaving the Island") are among the most widely anthologized poems by younger Cuban poets. His poems have also been widely published internationally.

Catering will be by The Pit Smokehouse. The cost is $6 for members and $7 for non-members. The deadline to register for the event is noon Wednesday, Feb. 20. Checks can be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations are unable to be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Monday, Feb. 25, following the noon news. Additional support for this event comes from University of Iowa International Programs, Mike Margolin and Iowa State Bank & Trust Co.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.