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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 19, 2010

IWP convenes 2010 'United Nations of Literature' in the City of Literature

Prominent writers from around the globe are once again converging on Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, for the 2010 residencies of the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP).

The community of 38 writers from 32 countries includes a mix of fiction writers, poets, translators, essayists, filmmakers, playwrights, screenwriters, editors, journalists and critics. The roster includes the first IWP representatives from Mauritius, Belarus and Djibouti.

Throughout the three-month residency, they will engage the public through a variety of free readings, discussions, film screenings, performances and social events.

Biographies of the 2010 IWP writers are accessible at Become a Facebook friend of the IWP at!/pages/Iowa-City-IA/International-Writing-Program/39135032067?ref=ts&__a=21&ajaxpipe=1.

The evolving calendar of events will be posted on the IWP site -- -- and on the UI Master Calendar, These calendars will be updated regularly as new events are added or information changes.

Serial events throughout September and October will include joint IWP/Iowa Writers' Workshop readings most Sunday afternoons in Prairie Lights, panel discussions at noon most Fridays in the Iowa City Public Library, Friday afternoon readings in the Shambaugh House at the corner of Clinton and Fairchild streets, and a series of film screenings on Wednesday evenings in the Adler Journalism Building.

Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature.

The IWP 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 1,200 writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP, including Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Many of the writers are supported through the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies, while others are funded through a variety of foundations, government councils and bilateral agreements.

Christopher Merrill, director of the IWP, chaired the UI Writing University committee that prepared the UNESCO proposal on behalf of the city. Iowa City was officially designated the third UNESCO City of Literature -- joining Edinburgh, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia -- late November 2008. Recently Dublin, Ireland -- home of the UI Irish Writing Program -- became the fourth UNESCO City of Literature.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013,