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Release: Jan. 31, 2003
WSUI "Live from Prairie Lights" Features UI-New Zealand Connection
Photo: Paula Morris
"Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on
University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature Iowa Writers'
Workshop student Paula Morris from New Zealand at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 in
the Prairie Lights book store at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.
Morris, the inaugural recipient of a Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship, established
by the Writers' Workshop alumnus at Victoria University in Wellington, N.Z.,
will read from "Queen of Beauty," published last year. The novel,
which won the Adam Foundation Prize for Creative Writing, tells the story
of a New Zealander of European and Maori descent who returns home after a
stay in New Orleans to discover the secrets of her heritage.
Morris has a bachelor's degree from the University of Auckland, a doctorate
from York University in England and a master's degree in creative writing
from Victoria University. She has been the vice president for marketing at
RCA Victor Records, and was a production assistant for the BBC.
Prairie Lights scheduled Morris' reading for Valentine's Day to emphasize
the close connections between the UI and New Zealand.
Glenn Schaeffer, who is the chief financial officer of the Mandalay Resort
Group (formerly Circus-Circus) in Las Vegas, has become increasingly active
as a literary philanthropist. He has endowed scholarships at both the UI and
in New Zealand, where he maintains a residence, and he recently contributed
$1 million toward an addition to the UI Dey House, home of the Writers' Workshop.
The International Institute of Modern Letters, headquartered at the University
of Nevada at Las Vegas, was established by Schaeffer, and its New Zealand
branch is located at Victoria University. The institute nurtures partnering
relationships with the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the creative writing program
at Cal-Irvine, which was led to prominence by UI alumnus Oakley Hall.
Victoria University is the home of New Zealand's first and most prestigious
creative writing program, providing a natural kinship with the Iowa Writers'
Workshop. Poet Shannon Welch, a recent graduate of the UI, is spending the
spring semester leading an "Iowa Workshop" at Victoria University
through the exchange program of this partnership initiative.
Learn more about this new project at Victoria University's website: http://www2.vuw.ac.nz/modernletters/crew256_i.html
Established writers from New Zealand have also been regular participants
in the residency program of the UI International Writing Program in recent
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