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Release: Sept. 28, 2001

IWP writers from Italy, Laos will read Oct. 7 in Prairie Lights

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fiction writers Rocco Carbone from Italy and Thongbay Photisane from Laos, participants this fall in the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be featured in a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Poet Genevieve Kaplan, a graduate student in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, will also read.

Photisane, the first writer from Laos to attend the IWP, directs and edits the only monthly literary magazine in Laos and serves as second secretary of the Lao Writer's Association. His most recent short stories, "The Life of Love," "The Love of the Luang Prabang Song," "Life and Family" and "Song of Man," have appeared in Vannasin magazine, the monthly publication of the Lao Ministry of Information and Culture.

Carbone is a literary critic and cultural commentator for Rome's Il Messagero and Naples' Il Mattino, and L'Unita. Carbone's novels include "Agosto" (1993), "Il Commando" (1996) and "L'Assedio" (The Siege), (1998). "The Apparition" will be published this year.

Some 30 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.

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