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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Sept. 29, 2004

IWP Writers Explain 'Why I Write What I Write' In Oct. 13 Panel Discussion

"Why I Write What I Write" has been an annual topic of panel discussions by participants in the University of Iowa International Writing Program. This year that topic -- which enables the writers to take whatever perspective on their writing careers they consider appropriate -- will be addressed in two sessions, with the first at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 in the new Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

"Why I Write What I Write," part 1, will feature playwright Jean-Marie V. Rurangwa from Rwanda, poet Sabit Madaliev from Uzbekistan, playwright and poet Sami Berdugo from Israel, poet Asim Mohamed Al Saidi from Oman and fiction writer/children's author Chen Danyan from China.

Rurangwa has written plays and essays about the Tutsi genocide in his homeland. Madaliev, who was blacklisted in his country, is spending a year at the UI as the International Program's first Public Intellectual, after a nine-month wait for a visa.

In addition to his literary work, Berdugo has written sit-coms in Israel. And Chen has produced documentaries for Shanghai TV, in addition to her writing for both children and adults.

The free event will be simulcast on the library's cable channel, and taped for re-broadcast.

Biographies of the IWP writers are at

Thirty-nine writers, representing 28 countries, will be in residence at the University of Iowa during the next three months as participants in the IWP. The IWP is a unique residency program that each year promotes international understanding by assembling a "United Nations of writing" at the UI. Over the years, more than a thousand writers from 120 countries have completed residencies in the program.

Joint IWP panels will continue most Wednesdays through the end of October.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,