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Release: Aug. 30, 2002

(Note to broadcasters: Janusz Bardach is pronounced “YAH-noosh BAR-dock.” Nisar is pronounced “nee-SAHR.” Dorit Rabinyan is pronounced “doh-REET RAH-bin-yen. Hualing Nieh is pronounced hwah-ling nee-EH.” Piotr Sommer is pronounced “pee-OH-TR SOHM-mayr.” Marzanna Kieler is pronounced “mar-ZHAHN-ah KEE-eh-LAHR.” )


The International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa will present a diverse series of free readings the week of Sept. 8-14:

-- The IWP has decided to dedicate its first Prairie Lights reading, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, to the memory of long-time UI faculty member and friend of the IWP, Janusz Bardach, who died recently;

-- Indian Muslim poet Nisar Ahmed will read at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 in the Shambaugh House;

-- Israeli fiction writer Dorit Rabinyan, now in residence with the IWP, will read at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St., as part of the “Live from Prairie Lights” series broadcast on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910;

-- UI faculty member Peter Nazareth and IWP participants from Africa will present an “Africa Night” reading at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in the Shambaugh House;

-- IWP co-founder Hualing Nieh Engle will be joined by IWP participants from China for a special “China Night” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 in Shambaugh Auditorium.

A native of Odessa, the son of Polish-Jewish parents, Bardach was famous as a pioneer in plastic surgery, particularly in the treatment of cleft lip and palate with the UI department of otolaryngology. But he was also a survivor of the labor camps of Stalin’s Soviet Union, which he described in “Man is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag” co-written with Kate Gleeson. With Gleeson, Bardach also completed a second memoir before his death. At the reading, Gleeson will be joined by two current IWP writers from Poland, poets Piotr Sommer and Marzanna Bogumila Kielar.

Part of the rich literary tradition in the Kannada language, K.S. Nisar Ahmed has published a dozen collections of poetry and five volumes of prose (including translations of Shakespeare's “Othello” and “A Midsummer Night's Dream”) and selected poems of Pablo Neruda. He has received awards including the State Sahitya Academy Award, the Soviet Land-Nehru Award, the Vishwa Manava Award, the Rajyotsava Award and the Prof Y T Thathachari award for Kannada literature. A tribute in The Hindu noted, “Prof. Ahmed's greatness as a poet lies in his ability to fuse history, science, nature, politics, current affairs, and human vicissitudes with striking undertones and connotations.”

Rabinyan is the author of “Persian Brides” (1995), which won the Yitzhak Vinner Prize for debut literature, the Golden Book Award and the Platinum Book Award. Her second novel “Strand of a Thousand Pearls” (1999) was also published to great acclaim and is available in English. She is participating in the IWP through the support of the US-Israel Educational Foundation.

Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers’ residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. The IWP brings established writers of the world to the UI, where they become part of the lively literary community on campus. Over the years, nearly a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies in the program. This fall’s program includes 36 writers from 30 countries.

The historic Shambaugh House was recently moved to the corner of Fairchild and Clinton streets on the UI campus as the headquarters of the IWP, and it will become the site of many of the program’s public activities.

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 < >.