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Release: Sept. 13, 2001

(NOTE TO EDITORS: International Writing Program director Christopher Merrill may be reached through <>, or by phone at 319-335-2609. The writers are living at the Iowa House, 319-335-3513.)

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Pronunciations: Marek is pronounced MAH-reck; Sosnicki is pronounced sos-NIZ-ski; Tran is pronounced Trahn; Sitok Srengenge is pronounced SEE-tok srenn-GENN-jhay.)

IWP presents panel on nature poetry in urban world Sept. 26

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will present a free panel discussion, "Nature Poetry in an Urban World." at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the large meeting room of the Iowa City Public Library. The discussion will be broadcast live on the library’s cable channel and taped for re-broadcast.

Participants in the discussion will be Polish poets Marek Zaleski and Dariusz Sosnicki, Viet Huu Tran from Vietnam, and Sitok Srengenge from Indonesia.

Sitok Srengenge is program coordinator for the Utan Kayu Community in West Java; and he is also a lecturer at the Jakarta Arts Institute, a literature teacher for Eksotika Karmawiggangga and editor of the Kalam Cultural Journal. His work has appeared in "2001: Secrets Need Words" (ed. Harry Aveling, to be published by the Ohio University Press); the "Nonsense Poetry" anthology, and various poetry and short fiction anthologies in Indonesia. Last year Srengenge was cited as one of his country’s leaders in society in culture by Asiaweek magazine.

Viet Huu Tran writes poetry exploring the sensibility of post-1975 Vietnamese youth and their complex attitudes toward contemporary Vietnam in transition. He has received a number of awards for his careers in poetry and in journalism. He is editor of the Sunday literary and arts supplement of the Tien Phong newspaper, and also writes for other leading journals directed toward youth. He also works as a literary translator. A miscellany including his critical work is being published early next year.

Dariusz Sosnicki is an editor at Empiz Publishers. He has received several prestigious literary awards -- his first poetry collection was honored as the "Best Debut" book of 1994. Sosnicki’s second collection is described as "a weather-and-soul report," and he is regarded as a representative voice of his generation. His poetry and literary criticism are well anthologized: They are translated in Czech, English and Slovenian and have appeared in the Chicago Review issue on New Polish Writing and other journals.

Marek Zaleski is deputy editor-in-chief of the monthly Res Publica Nowa in Warsaw and a researcher for the Institute for Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Since 1982

he has published numerous articles in Polish dailies, magazines and periodicals. He is the author of several books of literary history and criticism, including "The Second Avant-Garde Adventure," "Woe or Wit?" and "Forms of Memory." His scholarship specializes in the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz.

Thirty writers representing 24 countries are now in residence at the IWP through Nov. 20. The IWP was the first international writers residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. Over the years, nearly a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies in the program.

Like most IWP residency groups, the 2001 community is a mix of poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, playwrights, journalists, essayists and critics. Many of the IWP writers will travel from Iowa City to present lectures, symposia and readings at other campuses in Iowa and throughout the country, and to visit places of cultural or historical interest.

The IWP is staffed and housed by the University of Iowa. IWP writers have been financed by the United States State Department, through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals.

To learn more about the IWP, visit <> the on the World Wide Web:. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.