The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 12, 2003

WSUI/KSUI Presents Short Story Readings Feb. 22

WSUI/KSUI is presenting “Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story,” at the University of Iowa Clapp Recital Hall on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. The evening will be filled with short stories by authors from the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The University of Iowa Press, in cooperation with the Writers’ Workshop, the International Writing Program and the department of theatre arts are supporting the program, which is being presented by UI's public radio stations, WSUI 910 AM and KSUI 91.7 FM. The program will be taped for a later national broadcast.

“Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story,” produced by Symphony Space in New York City, is entering its 19th season of readings by Broadway and Hollywood actors of classic and new fiction. “Selected Shorts” is one of the most well-known public reading programs in North America.

Performances include Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” to be read by Selected Shorts host Isaiah Sheffer; Kevin Brockmeier’s “The Ceiling,” read by actor Paul Hecht; and Gish Jen’s “Who’s Irish?” read by actress Freda Foh Shen.

Tickets for "Selected Shorts" can be purchased at the Hancher Box Office, online at, or call 1-800-HANCHER. Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for seniors, students and youths.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.


MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services (319) 384-0012, Writer: Michelle Yong

Bio information on the authors and readers follows:
Raymond Carver (1938-1988) graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1966, and taught there from 1973 to 1974. He is best known for his short stories, which are collected in: "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?"; "Furious Seasons and Other Stories;" What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"; "Cathedral"; "Where I'm Calling From"; and, most recently, "Call if You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose."


Kevin Brockmeier graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1997. He lives and works in Little Rock, Ark., where he was raised. He is the author of the short story collection "Things That Fall from the Sky," the forthcoming novel "The Truth About Celia", and the children’s novel "City of Names."



Gish Jen graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in May 1983. She is the author of the novels "Typical American" (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and "Mona in the Promised Land" and of the short story collection "Who’s Irish?" All three of her books were New York Times notable books.



Paul Hecht has performed in "Selected Shorts" at Symphony Space and around the country every year since the show’s first season. His theatre work includes Stoppard’s "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" (Tony nomination 1968),"The Invention of Love," "1776," and Pirandello's "Henry IV" (Obie award 1990). He has also recorded several audio books by Annie Proulx, Ray Bradbury, Thomas Mann, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and he can be heard on Highbridge Audio’s recording of "The Return of the Jedi."


Isaiah Sheffer is a founder and the artistic director of Symphony Space, as well as host and director of "Selected Shorts" live at Symphony Space, on tour, and on public radio nationwide. He is also a playwright and creator of the book and lyrics to such works as "The Rise of David Levinsky," "Yiddle with a Fiddle," and "Demons and Dreamers" based on the life and work of Isaac Bashevis Singer.


Freda Foh Shen appeared in several Broadway productions; off-Broadway she starred in "Top Girls" which won an Obie Award. In Los Angeles, she received Dramalogue Awards for her work in "Sweeney Todd" and "The Reunification Hotel." Her recent film work includes "Full Frontal," "A Mighty Wind," "Planet of the Apes," and the voice of Mulan's mother in "Mulan." On television, she co-starred in movies including "Running Towards the Flames," and "The Tiger Woods Story," and has had recurring roles on "24," "ER," "Seventh Heaven," "Party of Five" and "Gideon’s Crossing," among others.