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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 21, 2006

Oct. 6 Shambaugh House Reading Will Feature IWP Poet From Myanmar

Poet U Moe Hein, in residence this fall at the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will read from his work at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in the Paul Engle Lounge of the Shambaugh House, the IWP headquarters at 430 N. Clinton St. on the UI campus.

He will be joined by Russell Valentino, a UI faculty member in Russian and comparative literature, who will read from his translation of the poetry and prose of Uzbeki writer Sabit Madaliev, a 2004 IWP participant.

Moe works in both Burmese and English. His translations include literary criticism and philosophy, and the Burmese poetry collections "Through Life's Perils" (1983) and "Sweet Odour of Padauk and Dokchampa" (2002). In 1998 two of his poems were anthologized by the National Library of Poetry in Maryland.

In 1999 he published his first book of poetry in English, "Harmony of Head and Heart," and he is currently working on a second volume. He teaches English language, Buddhist philosophy and ethics to monks at the State Priyatti Sasana University in Yangon.

Madaliev's most recent collections employ the Sufi verse form of rubaiyat, which has Persian, Turkish and Arabic roots. Yet by writing these in Russian, he taps into the rich tradition of Russian-language poetry as well, making his work a complex and intriguing hybrid.

Valentino, who teaches in the UI Translation Workshop, is the translator of Madaliev's "The Silence of the Sufi," published by Autumn Hill Books. Valentino's other translations include "Materada," the 1960 inaugural novel of Istrian-born writer Fulvio Tomizza, Carlo Michelstaedter's 1910 philosophical treatise "Persuasion and Rhetoric," and Predrag Matvejevic's "Between Exile and Asylum: An Eastern Epistolary."

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

The Russian program is an academic unit in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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

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