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Release: Sept. 3, 2002

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Sunny Ayewanu is pronounced “SUN-nee AI-e-WAH-new.” Sukrita Kumar is pronounced “soo-KREE-tah KOO-mar.” Guillermo Martinez is pronounced “ghe-JHEHR-moh mar-TEE-nez.” Dorit Rabinyan is pronounced “doh-REET RAH-bin-yen.”)

International Writers Will Reflect On Effects Of 9/11

Six prominent writers from Africa, South America, South Asia, the Middle East, East Asia and the South Pacific -- all participants in the 2002 International Writing Program at the University of Iowa -- will reflect on the global effects of 9/11 at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the Iowa City Public Library.

“Reflections on a Global Year: The Worldview, Post 9/11” will be broadcast on the library’s local cable channel, and admission to the live event is free.

The participants will be poet Sunny Ayewanu from Nigeria, poet Sukrita Kumar from India, fiction writer and essayist Guillermo Martinez from Argentina, fiction writer and journalist Gordon McLauchlan from New Zealand, fiction writer Charleson Lim Ong from the Philippines and fiction writer and poet Dorit Rabinyan from Israel.

IWP director Christopher Merrill commented, “There will be 9/11 observances and remembrances in many American cities, but we are uniquely privileged here in Iowa to benefit from the broad international perspective that this distinguished panel will offer.”

Ayewanu is the author of “Flowering Bullets,” which was a runner-up for the 1998 Association of Nigeria Author prize for poetry. He has contributed poems to three anthologies -- “Trembling Leaves” (1999), “Cramped Rooms & Open Spaces” (1999), and “25 New Nigerian Poets” (2000) -- and is the featured author of “Nejma 4: The Writings of Sunny Ayewanu.” Ayewanu is the president of the Association of West African Young Writers, one of Nigeria’s oldest literary associations.

Kumar is an associate professor of English at Zakir Hussain College at the University of Delhi. The recipient of many grants and awards, she has published nearly 10 books of literary criticism, translation and poetry. Her most recent book of poems is “Folds of Silence” (1998).

Martinez, who directs the Mathematics Department at the School of the Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, is one of Argentina’s most important contemporary writers. His story collection “Infierno Grande” (Vast Hell, 1989) is required reading in many high school literature courses; his essays are regularly published in Argentina's most important newspapers; and he has received numerous national prizes.

McLauchlan is the chairman of Four Star Books and host of the Radio New Zealand program “Book Club.” He has also hosted two New Zealand network television magazine shows, edited Bateman’s “New Zealand Encyclopedia,” provided the New Zealand questions for “Trivial Pursuit” and was president of the New Zealand Society of Authors. His books include volumes of political commentaries.

Ong is professor of literature at the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines. He has edited both the China Post (Taipei) and the Daily Globe (Philippines), and is the author of “Men of the East and Other Stories,” “Woman of Am-Kaw and Other Stories,” “Conversion and Other Fictions” and “An Embarrassment of Riches.” He received the Philippines 1990 National Book Award for Fiction.

Rabinyan is the author of “Persian Brides” (1995), which won the Yitzhak Vinner Prize for debut literature, the Golden Book Award, and the Platinum Book Award. Her second novel “Strand of a Thousand Pearls” (1999) was also published to great acclaim and is available in English.

Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers’ residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. The IWP brings established writers of the world to the UI, where they become part of the lively literary community on campus. Over the years, nearly a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies in the program. This fall’s program includes 36 writers from 30 countries.

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