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University of Iowa News Release

June 17, 2005

Iowa Writers' Workshop Alumna Mary Helen Stefaniak Reads June 30 On WSUI

A reading by University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Mary Helen Stefaniak -- a free event at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 30 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City -- will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

Stefaniak's reading from the 2004 novella "The Turk and My Mother," hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, may be accessed on the Internet at

Stefaniak is back at the UI this summer to teach in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, where she has taught for a dozen years. She is on the faculty of Creighton University in Omaha.

"The Turk and my Mother," which was shortlisted for the O. Henry Prize, is just out in paperback. Novelist Jonis Agee called the book "a journey across continents and history that is hilarious, heart-breaking and deeply touching."

Stefaniak's work has appeared in publications including the Iowa Review, EPOCH, Short Story, the Yale Review, AGNI, the Antioch Review and in several anthologies. She has served as a commentator on Iowa Public Radio, a columnist for The Iowa Source and a contributing editor of the Iowa Review.

Her collection of short fiction, "Self Storage and Other Stories" was selected by the Wisconsin Library Association to receive the 1998 Banta Award for Literary Excellence.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,