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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 23, 2003

Morris To Discuss Midwest Adventures At CIVIC Annual Meeting Nov. 9

To a foreigner, visiting Iowa can be quite an experience. Paula Morris, a writer from New Zealand, will share her impressions of the Midwest as the keynote speaker at the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) 18th Annual Meeting Luncheon Nov. 9.

The luncheon will be at the Holiday Inn, 1220 First Ave., Coralville, Iowa. There will be a cash bar starting at noon, with the luncheon beginning at 12:30 p.m. The speech will be given at 1:15 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and the deadline to register is Nov. 3. Checks should be made out to CIVIC and sent to CIVIC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

In her speech, "Looking in the Long Grass: A New Zealander's Adventures in the Midwest," Morris will share her experiences of living and working in Iowa. She will also discuss some of the adventures she has had over the last five years in the Midwest. Morris was the writer-in-residence for University of Iowa International Programs during the spring 2003 semester and is currently a teaching-writing fellow in the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

"Iowa is a very friendly place, and it's full of surprises -- interesting little towns and delicious food, people with abiding ties to their immigrant origins and a strong sense of community here. Even though I'm only here until next summer, I know Iowa is a place I'll return to," Morris said.

Her first experiences in Iowa began in 1998 when she came to do research on Laura Ingalls Wilder. During that time, she spent a lot of time researching at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum in West Branch.

Morris has been described as a vibrant new literary voice in her native New Zealand. Her first novel, "Queen of Beauty," has been featured on several best-of-2002 book lists in New Zealand. Morris, who is of English and Maori descent, attended the prestigious Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her diverse accomplishments range from a doctorate in American literature to work as a record company vice president in New York.

For more information, call Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director or Marianne Weiss, CIVIC office manager at 319-335-0351.

CIVIC serves as host to international visitors invited by U.S. embassies to take part in the International Visitor Program. As a member of the National Council for International Visitors, CIVIC is one of 98 nationwide community organizations that promote intercultural exchange between international leaders, the educational and business community. When a visit includes eastern Iowa, CIVIC arranges for professional consultations and field trips to industrial, scientific, educational and business facilities. Visitors are also invited to participate in the social and cultural life of our communities through home hospitality, sightseeing, cultural and recreational events.

CIVIC is affiliated with International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree and academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and service.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Tom Baldridge or Marianne Weiss, 319-335-0351; Writer: Kent Nguyen