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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 28, 2006

UI International Writing Program Presents Readings Oct. 13 And 15

Participants in the University of Iowa International Writing Program will present free, public readings at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Shambaugh House, and at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, in the Prairie Lights bookstore.

On Friday Fadhil Thamir from Iraq and Partaw Naderi from Afghanistan will read from their works in the Paul Engle Lounge of Shambaugh House, located at 430 N. Clinton St. on the UI campus.

The Oct. 15 reading, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, will feature Laksmi Pamuntjak from Indonesia, along with special guest writer Nathalie Stephens and Writers' Workshop graduate poetry student Nico Alvarado-Greenwood.

Thamir recently served as the chairman of the Iraqi Writers Union. He writes regularly for Arabic-language newspapers and magazines, including the Baghdad Observer, and translates extensively from English-language press. In the 1960s he led a student movement opposed to the Baath Party, then suffered several arrests between 1979 and 1993 on political grounds. In 1994 he left Iraq, but returned in 2003 to participate in rebuilding the country's cultural infrastructure. His most recent book is "The Repressed and Unspoken in Arabic Narration" (2005). He participates in the IWP through the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Naderi has published five poetry collections and several prose books on modern Afghan literature. He has edited Zhwandoon Quarterly Magazine, directed the Art and Cultural Programs section for Radio Afghanistan and reported on current affairs for BBC World Service. He returned from exile to become president of the writer's organization PEN in Afghanistan and an editor for the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Kabul. His IWP residency is supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

A poet, editor and translator, Pamuntjak writes columns and articles on politics, film, food, classical music and literature for Tempo Magazine and other publications. She translated and edited "Goenawan Mohamad: Selected Poems," published "Jakarta Good Food Guide" and co-founded Aksara, a bilingual bookstore in Jakarta. Her first collection of poetry, "Ellipsis," appeared on the Herald UK 2005 Books of the Year list. A treatise on violence and the Iliad entitled "War, Heaven, and Two Women" came out in 2006, along with her first collection of short stories, "The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art." She is at the UI through the IWP Writers' Support Fund.

Stephens, a Canadian poet who writes in both English and French and currently teaches at the Chicago Art Institute, is visiting the UI for a presentation in the International Translation Workshop. She has performed her work widely, including in Barcelona, Chicago, Ljubljana and New York. She is the recipient of a 2002 Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a 2003 British Centre for Literary Translation Residential Bursary. She has translated Catherine Mavrikakis into English and R. M. Vaughan into French. Her new book, "A Touch to Affliction," has just appeared from the Coach House Press.

Alvaredo-Greenwood was born California but grew up in Honduras and Jerusalem. He is a graduate of Portland State University, where he studied with former Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Henry Carlile and workshop alumna Michele Glazer.

Twenty-nine writers, representing 22 countries, are in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies of all the writers are accessible on the IWP Web site,

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;