The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate


JOINT READING OCT. 1 -- The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the UI Writers' Workshop will present a reading featuring novelist Suchen Lim of Singapore at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, at Arts Iowa City art gallery, 129 E. Washington St. in Iowa City.

Appearing with Lim at the reading will be a writer from the UI Writers' Workshop. The reading is free and open to the public.

In 1992 Lim was the first writer to receive the Singapore Literature Prize, which she won for her third novel, "Fistful of Colours." The author, who also specializes in applied linguistics, works as a curriculum advisor in the Singapore Ministry of Education. She is in Iowa City on a Fulbright grant through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

The IWP is a unique residency program, which each fall assembles a community of established writers from all parts of the globe. This fall 35 writers from 28 countries will spend three months at the UI.

* * *

DANCE THESIS CONCERT OCT. 3-5 -- The University of Iowa dance department will present "4 in One," a thesis concert featuring the choreography of graduate students Rise Karns, Kaye E. Richards, Mark E. Gomez and Bryon Davis, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4, and at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

The concert will premiere four 20-minute works created by the choreographers and performed by student dancers.

Karns choreographed "The Witchcracker," a contemporary fairy tale set to an original score by Fairfield composer Paul Fauerso. Karns is originally from Cedar Rapids, where she studied with Edna Dieman and Julie Bennett, and she performed with the Dance Theatre of the Hemispheres. She danced in New York with Laurie Devito and Dancers, David Story and Sarah Pogostin, and in Iowa with the Dance Theatre of Iowa. Her choreography was adjudicated at the 1996 and 1997 American College Dance Festival, and has been in the repertory of UI Dancers in Company.

Richards' "The Essence," featuring music by Sweet Honey in the Rock and other artists, is a story of two girls' journey from a brightly colored world full of laughter and joy to another that is restricted and covered. Richards was born in Guyana and was trained at the London Contemporary Dance School, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She was a member of the Martha Graham Ensemble for four years, and was their tour coordinator for a year. She was also a faculty member of the Martha Graham School.

In "The Color of Water," Gomez has created an abstract movement piece set to music by Philip Glass. Before coming to the UI Gomez danced with companies including the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, Joseph Holmes, the James Kelly Choreography Project and River North Dance Company.

Davis' "For Mature Audiences Only" is a hot, sexy jazz ballet performed to a sultry score by Miles Davis and set in a nightclub atmosphere. Davis has performed and directed at the Jefferson City Little Theater in Missouri, danced in the Lawton City Ballet and co-directed the UI Black Genesis Dance Theatre. He was a member of the UI Dancers in Company touring ensemble the last two seasons.

Admission will be $5 ($4 for UI students and $1 for children under 12) at the door.

"4 in One" is supported, in part, by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.

The performance includes adult themes.

* * *

MUSIC LIBRARY SALE OCT. 4 -- The Rita Benton Music Library at the University of Iowa School of Music will be holding its third triennial sale, 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4.

The sale will be in the library, which is located on the 2nd floor of the Voxman Music Building. It will be open to the public free of charge, except for the first hour -- 9-10 a.m. -- when there will be a $1 "early bird" charge.

Items included in the sale will be sheet music (scores and parts), music books, LP recordings, and a few CDs and videos. Featured is a large amount of choral octavo music, much of it free. Most of the sale items are gifts not needed by the Library. Most prices will be from 10 cents to $2, and checks on local banks will be accepted with a picture ID.

The Opera Supers, a School of Music support group, is providing assistance and staffing. Proceeds will augment the Music Library's budget.

For more information, call 335-3086.

* * *

IWP AND WRITERS' WORKSHOP READINGS SERIES OCT. 5 -- The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop will present a joint reading by Vietnamese author Ly Thi Lan and fiction writer Jonathan Blum at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading is free and open to the public.

A prolific writer, Lan's is the author of several collections of short stories, the novel "A Peaceful Place for Birds to Sing," a nonfiction account of Chinese living in South Vietnam and several children's books.

Lan's "Home in the Grass" (1984) received first prize from the Vietnam Writers' Association. She is an English teacher, television editor and researcher, and she previously was an executive member of the Ho Chi Minh City Writers' Association.

Blum is a second-year graduate student in the Writers' Workshop at UI. One of his short stories appears in the October issue of Playboy magazine.

The IWP is a unique residency program, which each fall assembles a community of established writers from all parts of the globe. This fall 31 writers from 25 countries are spending three months at the UI.

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Ly Thi Lan is pronounced LEE/ TEE/ LAHN.

* * *

MARY HELEN STEFANIAK READING OCT. 7 -- Fiction writer Mary Helen Stefaniak will read from her work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading, sponsored by the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights, is free and open to the public. The reading will be broadcast live on the "Live From Prairie Lights" series on WSUI radio, AM 910.

Stefaniak, a graduate of the Writers' Workshop, is the author of the recent, acclaimed short-story collection "Self Storage." Her work is noted for its humor and grace in dealing with subjects including girls in Catholic School, Croatians immigrants and other subjects concerning life in America.

"Much like Bailey White but with more salt in her sauce," says James Harris, owner of Prairie Lights, of Stefaniak's work. "Mary Helen Stefaniak spins stories on the wheels of the laugh-out-loud neighborhoods in which we live. Read these stories to your friends and loved ones, to the cop on the corner or the regulars at the laundromat."

Stefaniak's work has appeared in Agni, the Iowa Review, the Yale Review, Short Story, the Plume/Penguin anthology "Bless Me Father" and the Crescent Review, among other publications.

She has taught writing and literature, and worked as a model, a U.S. census interviewer, a sales clerk, a soccer coach, a French teacher and as fiction editor of the Iowa Review.

* * *

PERSPECTIVES OCT. 8 -- Artist Miranda Akyea, originally from Ghana, will talk about the social significance and function of cloth in West African cultures at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

The talk, which will be part of the museum's weekly Perspectives series, will be open to the public free of charge.

Akyea has a wealth of experience in making and marketing textiles, and currently owns and operates "Elike Traditions," an Iowa City store that sells African textiles. In the talk she demonstrate ways in which textiles have traditionally served an important function in West African society.

Vicki Rovine, curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the museum, said, "The role of cloth and clothing in significant social, political, religious and economic contexts continues in Africa today. Cloth is an important part of the lives of many Africans."

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Akyea's talk. Admission is free.

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Akyea is pronounced ah-CHEE-yah.

* * *

IWP PANEL ON "IMAGINING A REVOLUTION" OCT. 8 -- The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will present a free panel discussion, "Imagining a Revolution," at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8., in Room 304 of the UI English-Philosophy Building.

Participants in the discussion will be Tibor Fischer of the United Kingdom, Christos Homenides of Greece and Zyta Oryszyn of Poland.

Fischer grew up in South London, and studied Latin and French at Cambridge. His first novel, "Under the Frog," won the Betty Trask Award in 1992 and was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1993. Granta magazine listed Fischer as one of the 20 best young British novelists of 1993. Fischer's second novel, "The Thought Gang," is being made into a movie, and his third novel, "The Collector Collector," was a Book of the Month Club selection this summer. He is the son of Hungarian professional basketball players, who defected during the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

Homenides is the author of three books, including the novel "The Wise Kid," which is being made into a film in English. In addition to writing fiction, he is an attorney and is a member of the Education Council of the Center for Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece. Homenides is a regular contributor to the magazine Elle, for which he interviews authors, political figures and scientists.

Oryszyn is the author of six novels, which she describes as political-psychological works. Her works have been translated into German and Hungarian. The novelist often deals with themes of Stalinist history in Poland from the viewpoint of a child and teen-ager. Currently a member of PEN in Poland and the Association of Polish Writers, Oryszyn was a journalist with Solidarity's weekly publication during the upheavals in Poland.

The IWP, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall, is hosting 30 writers from 25 countries for three-month residencies at the UI. Over the years more than 1,100 prominent writers from more than 110 countries have completed residencies in the program.

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Tibor Fischer's name is pronounced TEE-bor/ fisher; Christos Homenides -- KREES-tos/ ho-meh-NEED-ess; Zyta Oryszyn -- TZEE-ta/ OR-ee-sheen.

* * *

POET PETER SACKS READS OCT. 9 -- Poet and critic Peter Sacks, a University of Iowa Ida Beam Visiting Professor, will read from his most recent work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in Van Allen Lecture II on the University of Iowa campus . The reading, sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Sacks will also present two free talks: "On Syntax" at 11 a.m. Oct. 9 , and "On Plato (The Phaedrus), Sappho, Eros, Memory and Poetic Revision" at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 10 in Room 304 of the UI English-Philosophy Building.

Of his poetry Sacks says: "I was raised in South Africa. I am now an expatriate, but I am still caught up in that country's history. My work in poetry has usually sought to balance an openness to physical beauty on the one hand against historical suffering on the other."

UI poet Jorie Graham wrote of Sacks' new collection "Natal Command": "Traveling across borders, spiritual, cultural and emotional, Sacks writes deeply American poems from his vantage point as an expatriate South African. The poems are informed not only by complex relations of power and race, but also by a larger sense of the conflicted desires regarding the notion of a homeland. At once personal and historical -- responding to the work of mourning with an intensely embodied desire for redress -- the poems take up the challenge of cultural repair against collective rage and grief."

Sacks, a professor of English at Harvard University, is also a well-respected critic. Of his scholarly work "The English Elegy," which won the Christian Gauss Award for the best U.S. book of literary scholarship, critic Frank Kermode wrote: "Sacks' book has old-fashioned virtues of thoroughness and patient research, together with a modern approach to the poetry of mourning."

Sacks also is the author of books that include the poetry collections "In These Mountains," "Promised Lands" and the forthcoming "Natal Command."

His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, Agni, Georgia Review, the Nation, Yale Review, Partisan Review and Boulevard, among other publications.

* * *

UNIVERSITY THEATRES GALLERY STAGED READING OCT. 10-11 -- The University Theatres Gallery series will present a free staged reading of "Bleach," a new comedy by University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Leah Ryan, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, in Theatre B of the UI Theatre Building.

The Friday-night audience will be invited to remain after the performance for a discussion.

Ryan writes about "Bleach": "An Armenian comedy. Any oxymoron? Hard to say, especially if you have no idea what Armenian means, let along what it means to be Armenian. 'Bleach' is a play about how much easier it is to tell people you're Italian; about how easy it can be to forget about a genocide that nobody wants to talk about anyway. Easy enough until your history takes a seat on the bar stool next to you and won't go away, speaking a language that sounds familiar even though you don't understand a word of it.

"'Bleach is about ethnicity, draft beer, bad jokes, family funerals . . . about the day you wake up and realize you don't remember what color your hair is supposed to be, really."

Ryan came to the UI from the Juilliard School in New York. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Chicago and London, and her one-act comedy "Debt," which was performed at the Iowa Playwrights Festival last season, was featured in the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

(EDITORS: Please note that there are only two performances of "Bleach." Earlier calendars, including ArtsIowa, listed four performances, Thursday through Sunday. The Thursday and Sunday dates have been cancelled.)