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Release: Oct. 11, 2002

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Pronunciations for the IWP writers are available at < >.)


The fall 2002 residencies of the University of Iowa International Writing Program are winding down, but there are still several opportunities for the public to connect with the program and its writers during the week Oct. 22-27:

-- IWP Director Christopher Merrill will be the guest at a free brown-bag lunch at noon Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Iowa City Public Library;

-- the program will co-sponsor a free reading by Mexican poet Pura Lopez-Colome at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, broadcast on the “Live from Prairie Lights” program hosted by Julie Englander on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910;

-- the next-to-last in a series of free panel discussions will be presented at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Iowa City Public Library;

-- several of the IWP’s writers-in-residence will give a free reading at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 in the Shambaugh House, at the corner of Fairchild and Clinton streets; and

-- the IWP and the Writers’ Workshop will present the last of their 2002 joint readings at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, in Prairie Lights.

Merrill’s brown-bag topic will be “The Imperfect Passion of the Word: On the Art of Translating.” He has translated two books by the leading young Slovenian poet Ales Debeljak and a large portion of the poems in “Feast” by Tomaz Salamun, an influential Slovenian writer who attended the International Writing Program in the 1970s and recently returned for a reading. Merrill has also translated works by Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Rene Char, Paul Celan and Bosnian writer Ferida Durakovic. In 1997, Merrill received the Translation Award from the Slovenian Ministry of Culture.

“No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura Lopez-Colome,” translated by Forrest Gander, appeared in English last spring, drawing from her five books of poetry. Lopez-Colome has also translated the works of Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney into Spanish.

The topic of the Oct. 23 library panel will be “Literary Translation/Literary Criticism,” addressing how literary culture is influenced by translation and criticism. Participants will be Sukrita Kuman from India, Cristian Gomez from Chile, Ina Grigorova from Bulgaria, Michael Zeller from Germany and Sunny Ayewanu from Nigeria.

Writers featured in the Oct. 25 Shambaugh House reading will be fiction writer Nori Nakagami from Japan, poet Arif Prasetyo from Indonesia, poet and fiction writer Hugo Chaparro from Colombia and poet Narlan Matos from Brazil.

For the Oct. 27 Prairie Lights finale, fiction writer Gordon McLauchlan from New Zealand and poet Gideon Nyirenda from Zambia will be joined by Scott Inguito, a graduate student in the Writers’ Workshop.

The IWP writers’ bios are accessible on-line at < >.

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 IWP residency period continues through November, but that month is a travel period that will disperse the writers throughout the country for readings, lectures, symposiums and research.

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