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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 21, 2008

Iowa City, UI celebrate UNESCO designation in Nov. 25 public event

The City of Iowa City and the University of Iowa will celebrate the community's City of Literature designation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a free public event at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI campus.

The event will feature Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey, UI President Sally Mason and Writing University Chair Christopher Merrill (photo, right), as well as representatives of, or messages from, the governor's office and the Iowa congressional delegation. A video will be shown of poet Marvin Bell, an alumnus and long-time faculty member of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the state's first poet laureate, reading "Writers in a Café," a poem he wrote to accompany the application.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature. Other cities in the Creative Cities Network -- honoring and connecting cultural centers for cinema, music, crafts and folk arts, design, media arts and gastronomy, as well as literature -- include Aswan, Egypt; Sante Fe, N.M.; Berlin, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; Bologna, Italy; Shenzhen, China; Kobe, Japan; and Seville, Spain.

The UI Writing University committee organized and submitted the UNESCO proposal on behalf of the city. Learn more at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

OTHER INFORMATION: Interviews will be available to the media after the event.

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 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),