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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 28, 2003

Prairie Lights Readings Will Include Writers' Workshop Alumnus John Murray

Upcoming readings on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will include human-rights activist Sunita Mehta on March 7, Writers' Workshop student Paula Morris on March 10, and Writers' Workshop alumnus John Murray on March 11. All the readings are free events at 8 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Mehta, a former Iowa City resident, will read from "Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future." She is the co-founder of the New York-based human rights organization Women for Afghan Women and director of grants and programs at the Sister Fund. While living in Iowa City, Mehta was a staff member of the Emma Goldman Clinic

Paula Morris' reading was originally scheduled for Feb. 14, but was postponed due to the weather. The current Glenn Schaeffer Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she will read from her novel, "Queen of Beauty," winner of the Adam Foundation Prize. (See the original news release at

Australian John Murray, who is both a physician and a fiction writer, will read from his first collection of stories, "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies." His story "The Hill Station" won the Prairie Lights Short Fiction Award in 2001, and the title story of "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies" was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for the "Best New American Voices 2002" fiction anthology.

Claire Dederer called his book an "elegant first collection" and the preview in Publishers Weekly stated, "affecting portraits make this collection emotionally resonant and enormously gratifying."

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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