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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2005

'Java House' Show Teams Up Award-Winning Author And Songwriter Feb. 18

Award-winning poet and journalist Christopher Merrill will discuss his new book "Things of the Hidden God" on the Feb. 18 edition of "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House".

The show is broadcast from downtown Iowa City's Java House at 10 a.m. Fridays on four public radio stations in Iowa. It is produced by the University of Iowa's public radio station WSUI AM 910.

Merrill, who is also director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, won the 2005 Kostas Kyriazis Award, Greece's most prestigious journalism award, for the work. The book describes the transformative pilgrimages Merrill made to sacred Mount Athos, in Greece, in the aftermath of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. W. S. Merwin calls the work "a rich and revealing personal chronicle." 

Host Ben Kieffer also welcomes Austin-based singer-songwriter Sarah Sharp to perform live music during the hour. "This past summer I happened to see her perform in Austin while at a public radio conference," says Kieffer. "Her music and her stage presence blew me away. She can sound a lot like Kate Bush. I asked her right then and there to come to Iowa for the show." 

Sharp was recently voted Top Jazz Musician in Austin. "Fourth Person" is the title of her latest CD. GarageBand.com says of her work: "Not since Edie Brickell has Texas produced such an intelligent, and sometimes playful, pop songstress. Sarah Sharp is the latest singer-songwriter to explode on the scene with simple, witty pop songs infused with slight touches of jazz."

Each week, "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" serves up fresh-brewed conversation topped off with live local music. Broadcast from downtown Iowa City's coziest coffee hangout, the program offers an eclectic variety of topics and guests. Kieffer moderates the mix of lively discussion, drama, and live music drawn from a rich pool of intellectual, artistic and tuneful talent.

The show is broadcast live statewide to an estimated 30,000 listeners each week on public radio WSUI AM 910 from Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, WOI AM 640 from Ames/Des Moines, KTPR - FM  91.1 from Fort Dodge, and KWOI FM 90.7 from Carroll. 

The shows are free and open to the public at The Java House, located at 211 E. Washington St. in downtown Iowa City.

The broadcast can also be heard in streaming audio at http://wsui.uiowa.edu/ by clicking on "Listen to WSUI"; it is rebroadcast on WSUI at 10 p.m. Fridays.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu.