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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 6, 2005

IWP And Writers' Workshop Present Joint Reading At Prairie Lights Oct. 16

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop will present a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Two writers in residence at the IWP -- poet and art critic John Mateer from Australia and poet and essayist Sharron Hass from Israel -- will be joined by Writers' Workshop student Matthew Williamson.

Hass lectures on literature and poetry at the Kerem Institute in Jerusalem. A co-founder of a writing program for gifted youth at the Matan Arts and Culture Project, she has taught in the Creative Writing Program of Ben-Gurion University, and in 2006 she will be a visiting poet at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has published two collections of poetry, and a third is forthcoming. She has represented Israel at poetry festivals in Macedonia and Rotterdam, and in 2003 her contributions to Israeli life and letters were honored with the Prime Minister of Israel Award for Writers.

Mateer has published five collections of poetry, winning the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry and the Centenary Medal for his contributions to Australian literature. His most recent book of poems, "The Ancient Capital of Images," details his experiences living in South Africa, Australia and Japan. In 2004, he also published "Semar's Cave: An Indonesian Journal," a travel account from Sumatra and Java.

Williamson is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and is now an associate director of the writing center at the UI College of Law. In the last year, his fiction and criticism have appeared in Gulf Coast, Ruminator and the webzines Barrelhouse and Bookslut. He will read from his current project, a collection of darkly comic tales of religious violence set in a fabulized Old West.

Through the IWP 36 writers from 29 countries will be members of the UI community through mid-November. Biographies of all the writers are accessible on the IWP site,

The IWP is staffed and housed by the UI. IWP writers are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The activities of the IWP are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

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