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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 31, 2006

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Frank McCourt Delivers University Lecture Nov. 9

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt will speak on "If You Want To Know Yourself -- Teach!" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus.

The event, the annual UI Distinguished Lecture presented by the University Lecture Committee, is free and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Audio will be available in an overflow room, if necessary.

McCourt will also be the guest on a special one-hour "Know the Score" broadcast on UI radio station KSUI-FM 91.7, originating in a free event hosted by Joan Kjaer at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Lasansky Gallery and the Nancy and Craig Willis Atrium of the UI Museum of Art. The show will be rebroadcast the following Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. and the following Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. Listen on the Internet at

Due to IMU remodeling, those attending the McCourt lecture should plan to enter through the East Lobby entrance across from the parking ramp on Madison Street. The wheelchair and handicapped entrance will be the Iowa House Hotel doors on the south side of the IMU. All audience members should allow extra time for parking.

McCourt was born in 1930 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For 30 years, he taught in New York City high schools. After retiring from teaching, Frank and his brother, Malachy, performed their two-man show, "A Couple of Blaguards," a musical review about their Irish Youth.

His first book, "Angela's Ashes," his memoir of growing up in desperate poverty in Ireland, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, Boston Book Review's Non-Fiction prize, the ABBY Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The book spent 117 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, including 23 weeks at number one, and more than two million copies are in print in North America alone.

In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.

He is also the author of "'Tis," which continued the story begun in "Angela's Ashes," and "Teacher Man: A Memoir."

McCourt's address marks the 15th anniversary of the Distinguished Lecture Series. Initiated in the 1991, the Distinguished Lecture Series became a part of the UI Lecture Series as an annual event to feature renowned individuals who are distinguished in their knowledge, experience, influence and position. The Distinguished Lecturer addresses compelling issues that appeal to and inspire students, faculty and staff of the UI and citizens of its surrounding community. Each year one outstanding individual is recognized and presented with the University of Iowa Lecture Series Distinguished Lecture Medallion.

This medallion is completely handmade from sterling silver, and is produced by Hands Jewelers. A raised rectangular plaque is situated on the large disc with a stylized silhouette of the dome of the Old Capitol, a symbol of the University of Iowa.

The lecture is supported in part by the F. Wendell Miller Fund.

The University of Iowa Alumni Association is the corporate sponsor of "Know the Score LIVE!" broadcasts. Refreshments are provided by the Prairie Table.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 310-430-1013;