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Release: Immediate

African writer to speak to foreign relations council about writers' roles in democracy

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kofi Anyidoho, an internationally known scholar, poet, playwright, and human-rights activist, will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Wednesday, Oct. 21 about "The Role of the Writer in a Democracy." His presentation begins at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City, and is open to the public.

Anyidoho, who received his doctorate at the University of Texas, is professor and head of the department of English at the University of Ghana, Lego. He is visiting the University of Iowa as a participant in the International Writing Program.

In 1994-95 Anyidoho directed a workshop at the Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities at Northwestern University. The workshop brought together writers who had been imprisoned in their home countries and/or been in exile. Anyidoho's powerful book "The Word Behind Bars and the Paradox of Exile" grew out of this workshop. His recent poetry publications include "Earthchild," "A Harvest of Our Dreams," and "Ancestral Logic and Caribbean Blues." Anyidoho is the current president of the African Literature Association, the first president of this international professional organization to be based in Africa during his term in office.

The deadline to register for Anyidoho's presentation is Monday, Oct. 19. The New Pioneer Co-op will cater the lunch, and the cost is $4.50 for members and $5.50 for non-members. There is no charge for those who bring their own lunches. Checks can be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351. They are unable to take reservations by phone but last minute adjustments may be made.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Thursday, Oct. 22 following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the Associate Provost and Dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.