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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 19, 2010

At A Glance

Iowa City Book Festival earns Attraction of the Year award

The Iowa City Book Festival, presented by the University of Iowa Libraries, is the 2010 Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Attraction of the Year.

Bureau president Josh Schamberger said the festival was a wonderful addition to the rich literary tradition of the community. In just its second year, the festival became the kind of event that attracts residents and visitors alike to celebrate books, reading and authors, he added.

Attendance at the festival, held July 16-18, 2010, was more than four times that seen in the 2009 inaugural year, in part due to a concerted effort to work with the retail community to host events in businesses on the final day of the festival. Those events, many of which were standing room only, complemented the impressive slate of readings and discussions that occurred earlier in the festival while attracting customers to the businesses that participated.

University Librarian Nancy Baker thanked the bureau, the other libraries in Johnson County and partners in the business community for their help to create a great new event in Iowa City.

See and for more information.


New UI Press book examines the life and work of UI poet Donald Justice

"For Us, What Music? The Life and Poetry of Donald Justice" by poet, critic and educator Jerry Harp, will become available from the University of Iowa Press on Dec. 1.

Because Harp was Justice’s student in the UI Writers' Workshop, his personal knowledge, combined with his understanding of Justice’s work, enables him to place each poem within its historical moment and locate it in the context of Justice's literary tradition.

Throughout the text runs the narrative of Justice’s life, tying together the poems and informing Harp’s interpretations.

Justice, an alumnus of the workshop and a faculty member there for many years, was the recipient of some of poetry’s highest laurels, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize and the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. He was a finalist for the National Book Award three times, and was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

After completing his teaching career at the University of Florida, he retired to Iowa City, where he died in 2004.

The book will be available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at


UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Cole Swensen reads Dec. 1

Poet Cole Swensen, a faculty member in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will be joined by poet and critic Sarah Riggs in a free reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Prairie Lights Books. The Writing University website,, will stream and archive the reading.

Swensen's new book is "Greensward," which playfully observes the interaction of animals, humans and gardens -- in interaction with engravings of 18th-century gardens by John Roque. Iowa graphic artist Shari DeGraw collaborated with Swensen to create a conversation between the verbal and visual elements.

Swensen is the author of 12 books of poetry, and in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Award, she has won the Iowa Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, Sun and Moon's New American Writing Award, two Pushcart Prizes and the National Poetry Series.

Riggs -- a member of the Double Change bilingual poetry collective -- and Swensen were co-editors of "Read," which features contemporary poetry in French and English. Riggs is also the author of "Chain of Miniscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling," and "Waterwork."


Environmental campaign in Amazon region is explored in film screening Dec. 1

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) will present a screening of the film “Owners of the Water: Conflict and Collaboration Over Rivers” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Room 1505 Seamans Center for Engineering Arts and Sciences. This event is free and open to the public.

The film is a unique collaboration between two native Amazonian filmmakers and Laura Graham, an associate professor of anthropology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It explores an indigenous campaign to protect a river from the devastating effects of uncontrolled Amazonian soy cultivation.

Following the screening will be a Q & A session with Graham.

This event is part of the “Careers for Change” series, a UICHR lecture series designed to bring in activists and professionals from varying fields of social justice and human rights work.

The UI Center for Human Rights is part of UI International Programs. For more information, visit or contact Kelsey Kramer at or 319-384-2208.


Confucius Institute to offer free Chinese calligraphy class Dec. 3

UI International Programs’ Confucius Institute will offer a Chinese calligraphy workshop from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in Room 248 Jessup Hall. Participants will learn the art and history of calligraphy while gaining hands-on experience. No prior knowledge of Chinese or of Chinese calligraphy is required, and all materials will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required by Dec. 2, and can be done online at

The workshop will be led by Ramon Lim, , M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of the UI Department of Neurology. Lim is an expert calligrapher whose work has been exhibited widely in China, Korea and Japan. He is the vice president of the Calligraphy Society of the Rocky Mountain Area and winner of the 8th International Calligraphy Competition in Shanghai in 2005. Lim’s approach to calligraphy is unique in that he interprets the traditional Chinese brush work from the perspective of western esthetics.

For more information, contact Andrea Niehaus or 319-335-1307.


UI English professor to speak at 'Finding God at Iowa' lunch forum Dec. 3

Lori Branch, an associate professor of English in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will speak at the monthly "Finding God at Iowa" Lunch Forum series from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 in Room 343 at the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)
Ohio State Room.

The forum titled, "Post-Secular Literary Studies and Eastern Orthodox Spirituality," will discuss the emergence of post-secular theory and criticisms. Branch also plans to make connections between her academic knowledge and Eastern Christian spirituality.

The free "Finding God at Iowa" Lunch Forum series, sponsored by Geneva Campus Ministry, seeks to challenge thinking about how Christian convictions shape one's view of issues in the academy and in society. The event is one of many ways to connect with other Christian faculty, staff, and students on campus.

For more information, or to be notified by e-mail of upcoming speakers, contact Geneva Campus Ministry at 319-341-0007 or


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.