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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 29, 2003


UI's Bloom Is Quad City Arts Featured Author In 2003-04

University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen G. Bloom has been named the 2004 Super Author by Quad City Arts, the regional arts council for Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.

The Super Author program has been an active part of the Quad Cities and six county area for more than 20 years and has featured world renowned authors such as E. L. Doctorow, W. P. Kinsella, Bharati Mukherjee, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tobias Wolff. This year for the first time the program will feature two authors, Bloom and Jamaica Kincaid.

In October, Bloom will give workshops and participate in discussions about his books, "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America" and "Inside the Writer's Mind: Writing Narrative Journalism." In November, Quad City Arts will present three performances of "Shoedog," an original play by Bloom and co-playwright Brian Cronk.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Bloom will lead a workshop on writing narrative journalism at noon at the Quad City ArtsCenter and will participate in a discussion of "Postville" with Quad Cities readers at 7 p.m. at the Quad City ArtsCenter. On Oct. 10 he will discuss "Across Cultural Boundaries: The Privileged Role of a Non-fiction Writer" at 7 p.m. at the Bettendorf Public Library. All workshops and discussions are free and open to the public.

After spending more than 20 years as a reporter for daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and San Jose Mercury News, Bloom joined the UI faculty in 1993. Postville, which details the conflict between residents of a small Iowa town and the group of Lubavitcher Jews who open a kosher slaughterhouse there, was published in 2000 and received much critical praise. Postville was named a Best Book of the Year by MS-NBC, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Chicago Sun-Times book critic Henry Kisor wrote, "a livelier and more absorbing work of personal journalism I have not read in years." Today Postville is a required text for many university courses, including those at Purdue, University of Wisconsin at Madison, USC and University of Missouri.

"Inside the Writer's Mind" is a collection of 30 of Bloom's favorite stories written throughout his career. Each story includes an introduction describing how Bloom got the idea and an epilogue detailing the outcome and in some cases additional details since the original publication. In addition to showcasing his best work, Bloom hoped to show readers how to approach narrative non-fiction writing of their own.

Bloom's play, "Shoedog" was inspired by his work years ago in his father's shoe store in Northern New Jersey. This will be the first full-scale production of the play. It will be staged at the Quad City ArtsCenter Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. The play will be directed by Melissa Mcbain, who last directed the Vagina Monologues and Death of a Salesman in the Quad Cities. Live music by Richard Webster will accompany Shoedog, which has been described as "'Wonder Years' colliding with Playwright David Mamet." Contact Quad City Arts 309-793-1213 for ticket information.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: William L. Rogers, Quad City Arts, 309-793-1213 ext. 107