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Release: Aug. 20, 1999

‘Iowa Review’ reading will feature writers from the International Writing Program Aug. 27

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Review, the literary journal of the University of Iowa, will present a reading of works by former participants in the UI International Writing Program (IWP) at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 in Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The reading will be free and open to the public, and it will be broadcast on "Live from Prairie Lights" originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

Readers will include David Hamilton, UI professor of English and editor of the Iowa Review, and Marvin Bell, Flannery O’Connor Professor of Letters in the UI Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Works will be read by former IWP participants who have been published in previous issues of the Iowa Review. These authors include Ai Qing from China, an IWP participant in 1980; Amos Tutuola from Nigeria, an IWP participant in 1983; Elsa Cross from Mexico, an IWP participant in 1981; and Julio Cesar Monteiro Martins from Brazil, an IWP participant in 1979.

The Iowa Review has traditionally begun the academic year with a reading at Prairie Lights, Hamilton said. "This year, rather than featuring our new issue, I thought we’d highlight the IWP," he explained. "My private motto for the review has always been ‘local but not provincial,’ and the IWP has enormously helped create that quality.

"Then, too, in today’s political climate, when the U.S. seems to lead the way in everything and we can be beguiled into believing that we have all the answers, it seems to me more important than ever to listen to others, and not to turn our backs on the world and just consider and reconsider ourselves. The IWP may not be necessary for this, but it helps."

The Iowa Review, which comes out three times a year, publishes fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, interviews, and autobiographical sketches. In its 27th year of continuous publication, the journal pursues the mission of "nudging along American literature." More than 400 unsolicited manuscripts arrive each week through most of the year, from all over the country and from abroad, from which editors select the greater part of the review’s contents. There are no set guidelines as to content or length, but editors look for what they consider to be the best writing available.

Hamilton has edited the Iowa Review since the fall of 1977. In addition to serving on the UI faculty, Hamilton has taught in Missouri, Virginia, Colombia, Michigan, and Spain and has had writings scattered through a fair variety of magazines, including the Michigan Quarterly Review, Creative Nonfiction, River Oak Review, the American Voice, 100 Words and Verse.

Bell is the author of "Ardor," "The Book of the Dead Man," "Iris of Creation," "A Probable Volume of Dreams" and other volumes of poetry. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Antaeus and many other periodicals and literary journals. Among other honors, he has held senior Fulbright appointments in Australia and Yugoslavia, and he has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships. He has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award in Literature.