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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 18, 2003

Humanities Iowa Celebrates Writers As Visual Artists

Humanities Iowa, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will sponsor "Voices from the Prairie: The Fourth Annual Iowa Writers' Celebration" at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 in Shambaugh Auditorium at the University of Iowa Library.

To explore this year's theme of Writers as Visual Artists, Humanities Iowa brings together three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad and Max Allan Collins, author of the highly acclaimed graphic novel, "Road to Perdition." Moderating the panel will be Brooks Landon, chair of the UI English department. A question and answer period will follow the panel discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Conrad and Collins will also take part Friday morning in a live Talk of Iowa broadcast from the Java House. WSUI AM 910, the UI's public radio station, broadcasts the program at 10 a.m. from the Java House, at 211 E. Washington. Host Ben Kieffer, mixes live local music with talk about contemporary arts, community, and cultural issues. The show is free and open to the public. It can also be heard in streaming audio at http:/wsui.uiowa.edu.

Conrad, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, began cartooning for the Daily Iowan while studying art at the UI. After graduation, he had a distinguished career, first at the Denver Post and then as chief editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times from 1964 to 1993. Conrad's collected works are published in ConArtist, 1993, and Drawing the Line, 1999, both published by Los Angeles Times Books. His cartoons are syndicated by the Tribune News Service.

Collins, a lifelong resident of Muscatine, Iowa, and graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, began his career as the writer of the Dick Tracy comic strip from 1977 to 1993. He is also the co-creator of the comic series "Ms. Tree and Mike Danger," author of the Nathan Heller historical detective series and other novels, and screenwriter/director of the cult film favorites "Mommy" (1995) and "Mommy's Day" (1997). His graphic novel, "Road to Perdition," set in the Quad Cities and surrounding Midwestern towns, inspired the DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox motion picture starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.

In addition to the presentations from the distinguished panel, Humanities Iowa will present the 2003 Award for Distinguished Service to the Public Humanities and the 2003 Award for Outstanding Project in the Public Humanities. These awards recognize and honor individuals and organizations for significant contributions to the cultural life of Iowa through the public humanities during the previous calendar year. The Distinguished Service award acknowledges the honoree's scholarly work and/or public service work on the local, regional and state level. The Outstanding Project award, chosen from projects funded by Humanities Iowa grants, recognizes a project that demonstrates exemplary programming for the public, outstanding community collaboration and great impact on the community.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.Program: Humanities Iowa, 319-335-4150