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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 11, 2005

IWP And Writers' Workshop Present Joint Reading At Prairie Lights Oct. 23

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop will present a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Two writers in residence at the IWP -- poet and fiction writer Lidija Dimkovska from Macedonia and fiction writer and screenwriter Said El Haji from The Netherlands -- will be joined by Writers' Workshop student Julia Glassman, a fiction writer.

El Haji, who was born in Morocco, debuted in 2000 with "The Days of Shaytaan," a novel depicting the void between emigrant parents and their westernized children, and has since written many short stories, including "Little Hamid," which won the El Hizjra Literary Prize. His most recent work, "Nobody has a Program for the Concert of Life," appeared in a collection of short stories from leading Dutch writers. He is writing a commissioned script for a film about derailed youth.

Dimkovska, who now lives in Slovenia, studied comparative literature at the University of Skopje and earned a doctorate in Romanian literature from the University of Bucharest, where she subsequently taught Macedonian language and literature. Her books of poetry include "The Offspring of the East," "The Fire of Letters," "Bitten Nails" and "Nobel vs. Nobel." She prepared an anthology of young Macedonian poetry and recently published her first novel, "Candid Camera," which won the "Stale Popov" award for best prose work. In 2006, Ugly Duckling Presse in the United States will publish a selection of her poetry.

Glassman's work has appeared in the Missouri Review, Kitchen Sink and Monkeybicycle, and she is currently at work on a novel. She has lived in a bookstore in Paris, served on the editorial board at Em Literary, taught fiction workshops to high school students and read manuscripts for McSweeney's.

Through the IWP 35 writers from 28 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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