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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 26, 2010

Several events at UI NonfictioNow Conference are open to the public

Several events each day during NonfictioNow, the Bedell Nonfiction Conference, hosted by the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program Nov. 4-6, will be open to the public free of charge, including readings by Rebecca Solnit (photo, left), Alison Bechdel and UI Writers' Workshop alumnus John Edgar Wideman.

On Thursday, Nov. 4, the public may attend:
--The Keynote Address by Rebecca Solnit at 8:45 a.m. in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).
--Two events at 5 p.m.: the Sarabande Reading: "One Word" in the IMU Main Ballroom or "10 Years of River Teeth: A Celebratory Reading" in the IMU Main Lounge.
--A reading by Alison Bechdel at 8:30 p.m. in the IMU Main Lounge.

The free events on Friday, Nov. 5, are:
--"Literature of Palpable Quality: a Bellingham Review Reading" at 8:45 a.m. in the IMU Main Lounge.
--"Irish Perspectives on Creative Nonfiction" at 1:45 p.m. in the IMU Black Box.
--"Contemporary Australian Nonfiction," a reading at 3:30 p.m. in the IMU Main Lounge.
--A reading by Rebecca Solnit at 8:30 p.m. in the Englert Theatre.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, the public is invited to attend:
--"Adventuring the Self: Changing Perspectives in Personal Writing in Australia" at 1:45 p.m. in the Iowa Room of the IMU.
--Three events at 5 p.m.: a reading, "Between Song and Story: Essays for the 21st Century" in the IMU Main Ballroom; "Farthest North Fiction: Alaskan Writers Read" in the IMU Main Lounge; or "An Addiction of Narrative: A Reading of Narrative Essays" in the Englert Theatre Gallery.
--A reading by John Edgar Wideman at 8:30 p.m. in the IMU Main Lounge.

NonfictioNow is a gathering of several hundred writers, teachers and students from around the world. Panels and readings highlight the myriad forms of nonfiction from the video essay, documentary, and graphic essay to the memoir, lyric essay, and literary journalism. For detailed information about the conference, visit

Solnit, the keynote speaker, has written on the environment, politics, art and other subjects. She won the National Book Critics Circle Award for "River of Shadows." The Utne Reader magazine recently named her as one of the "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World."

Bechdel (photo, right) is the author of an award-winning memoir, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." Since its inception in 1983, her comic strip "Dykes To Watch Out For" has become a countercultural institution. The strip is syndicated in dozens of newspapers, translated into several languages and collected in a series of bestselling books.

Wideman (photo, bottom left) -- the second African-American to win a Rhodes Scholarship --completed his first of many novels, "A Glance Away" while at the UI in the late 1960s. He is the author three memoirs, "Brothers and Keepers," "Hoop Roots: Basketball, Race and Love" and "Fartheralong," a finalist for the National Book Award. His recent collection of "microstories" is "Briefs," published this year, and his new novel is "Fanon."

He is the only writer to have been awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice and his many other honors include a MacArthur "genius grant."

His articles on Malcolm X, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Emmett Till, Thelonius Monk, and women's professional basketball have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire, Emerge and the New York Tlmes Magazine.

The Nonfiction Writing Program is part of the English Department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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