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Release: Nov. 18, 1999

Writer to speak about Albania, war in Kosovo

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Luljeta Lleshanaku, an Albanian poet participating in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) Tuesday, Nov. 30 at noon in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton Street, in Iowa City. Lleshanaku will speak on "Albania Before and After the War in Kosovo."

Luljeta Lleshanaku (pronounced /lool YET tah/ /lesh ah NAH koo) is a poet, born in Albania in 1968. She is the author of four poetry collections, one of which received the 1996 best book of the year award from the Eurprolindja Publishing House. Her American translator, Henry Israeli, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, was responsible for the publication of some of Lleshanaku's work in American publications including Grand Street and the Seneca Review. Her poetry has appeared in publications in Germany, Austria, France, as well as anthologies such as Modern Poetry in Translation and the Italian-Albanian anthology Mediterraneo 1. She also writes reviews and critical studies.

Lleshanaku was educated in literature at the University of Tirana and was chief editor for the weekly magazine Voice of Youth and also has worked for Drita, her country's oldest and largest cultural magazine. She currently works for the daily newspaper Rilindja. She is publishing a collection of reviews and essays and is translating John Ashbery's poetry into Albanian. Her participation in the IWP is supported by ArtsLink.

The luncheon presentation will be catered by New Pioneer. Reservations are $6.50 for ICFRC members and $8 for non-members and guests and need to be received at the ICFRC office by noon Friday, Nov. 26. 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 telephone but last minute adjustments may be made.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Wednesday, Dec. 1, following the noon news.

Lleshanaku 's presentation is co-sponsored by the International Writing Program and UI International Programs. Additional support comes from Blank & McCune Real Estate and Hills Bank & Trust Co.

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 University of Iowa campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

Meetings are scheduled from September to June to take advantage of these speakers and are held at noon or in the evening in order to allow as wide a participation as possible from the business community, other professionals, the community at large and students, faculty and staff from the university.

ICFRC is part of UI International Programs, which consist 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.