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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 18, 2005

Oct. 30 Joint Reading Features Writers From Sri Lanka And Japan

The Oct. 30 joint reading by the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, at 5 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, will feature Kyoko Yoshida from Japan, Ameena Hussein from Sri Lanka and Writer's Workshop graduate student Lauren Shapiro.

Hussein, who is an editor and publisher as well as a fiction and non-fiction writer, works as a consultant for several international human rights organizations. She has published two short-story collections, and she co-founded the Perera-Hussein Publishing House to present emerging and established Sri Lankan writers. She edits Nethra, a journal published by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, which addresses issues of violence, governance and development.

Yoshida, a fiction and nonfiction writer and a translator, earned a doctorate in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In the United States she has had work published in the Massachusetts Review and other journals. She lectures on topics in American literature at Keio University in Tokyo.

Shapiro graduated in 2001 from Brown University, where she majored in comparative literature (Spanish and Italian). She spent the last four years working at the Yale University Press as an associate editor in acquisitions, where she both conceived of new titles and supervised their completion. During her time there she was also a reader for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

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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