Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 18, 2006

IWP Presents Sept. 29 Panel Discussion And Readings Sept. 29, Oct. 1

The University of Iowa International Writing Program will present three free events on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1:

-- a panel discussion, "Fantasy and Reality," at noon Friday, Sept. 29, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library;

-- a reading by writers from Libya and the Palestine Authority at 5 p.m. Friday in the Shambaugh House; and

-- a joint reading by students from the Nonfiction Writing Program and Iowa Writers' Workshop at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The panel will address the question: Are the boundaries between fantasy and reality changing? The participating writers will be poet and novelist Ashur Etwebi from Libya; New Zealander James Norcliffe, who has written several fantasy novels for young adults; and Chinese novelist and screenwriter Bi Feiyu.

The Shambaugh House reading on Friday at 430 N. Clinton St. -- the headquarters of the IWP -- will feature Etwebi and Mazen Sa'adeh in the Paul Engle Lounge.

Etwebi is a physician and senior lecturer at Zawia Teaching Hospital. He has published four collections of poems, most recently "A Box of the Old Laughs" (2005), and his work is widely anthologized in the Arab-speaking world and Europe, including the "Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry." He is participating in the IWP courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

Sa'adeh has published two novels, written five plays and worked on several films as writer and director. His most recent project, "My Friend, My Enemy" (2004), is a documentary about friendships between Palestinian and Israeli women. In 2004 he co-founded the Open Workshop for Culture and the Arts in Palestine, an organization that encourages cultural exchange between Palestine and the global community through art. He participates in the IWP through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Since the IWP writers will be out of town on Oct. 1, the Sunday Prairie Lights reading will feature Nonfiction Writing Program graduate student Brian Goedde and Writers' Workshop graduate students Lauren Shapiro and Monica Bergers.

Twenty-nine writers, representing 22 countries, are in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies and writing samples of all the writers are accessible on the IWP website,

This year's roster of well-established poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, translators, editors, essayists, journalists, playwrights and literary critics includes writers from current news hot spots including Sri Lanka, Palestine and Iraq. All the world's populated continents are represented.

The IWP -- a unique program that has been described as "The United Nations of Writing" -- introduces talented writers to American life; enables them to take part in American university life; and provides them with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more than a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP.

The evolving calendar of events is accessible at and on the IWP site. These calendars will be updated regularly as new events are added.

IWP writers are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The activities of the IWP are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

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,