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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 28, 2005

'Java House' Program Focuses on America's Working Poor

The flipside of American prosperity will be the focus of discussion and drama on the Feb. 4 edition of "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" broadcast at 10 a.m. The show is aired statewide on four public radio stations and originates from the University of Iowa's public radio station WSUI AM 910.

Dramatic excerpts from the University of Iowa Theatre's production of "Nickel and Dimed," adapted from Barbara Ehrenreich's bestseller, will set the stage for a discussion about the working poor in America and in Iowa. In her book, Ehrenreich gives a riveting account of her experiences when she presented herself as an unskilled homemaker needing to earn a living after a divorce.

Host Ben Kieffer will talk with Eric Forsythe, the UI production's director, and State Representative Vicki Lensing, who hopes to increase Iowa's minimum wage. 

Singer-songwriter Kelly Pardekooper will perform live music during the hour.  His latest CD is titled "Haymaker Heart." Pardekooper, an Iowa native, now lives in Nashville and will soon begin another European tour.

Every Friday morning at 10 a.m., "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" serves up fresh-brewed conversation topped off with live local music. Broadcast from downtown Iowa City's coziest coffee hangout, the program offers an eclectic variety of topics and guests. Kieffer moderates the mix of lively discussion, drama, and live music drawn from a rich pool of intellectual, artistic and tuneful talent.

The show is broadcast live statewide to an estimated 30,000 listeners each week on public radio WSUI AM 910 from Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, WOI AM 640 from Ames/Des Moines, KTPR - FM  91.1 from Fort Dodge, and KWOI FM 90.7 from Carroll. 

The shows are free and open to the public at t The Java House, located at 211 E. Washington St. in downtown Iowa City.

The broadcast can also be heard in streaming audio at by clicking on "Listen to WSUI." It is rebroadcast on WSUI at 10 p.m. Fridays.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,