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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 9, 2006

Russian Cultural Leaders Join UI Literary Community Aug. 25-Sept. 8

Four Russian writers participating in the Open World Program will spend Aug. 25 through Sept. 8 at the University of Iowa, participating in the International Writing Program as well as in other activities in Iowa City.

The visiting delegates from Russia are Mikhail Butov (Moscow), Ksenia Golubovich (Moscow), Polina Kopylova (St. Petersburg), and Lev Usyskin (St. Petersburg). Anna Filatova from Bryansk Oblast will act as a facilitator for the group.

The writers will discuss Russian literary, cultural and social issues with members of the Iowa City community in a panel discussion hosted by the Iowa City Public Library at noon Friday, Sept. 1. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Butov, Kopylova and Usyskin will give a free, public reading on Friday, Sept. 1, in the Shambaugh House, the IWP headquarters at the corner of Clinton and Fairchild Streets on the UI campus. Golubovich and UI graduate students in the Iowa Writers' Workshop will read from their work at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging political and civic leaders from participating countries to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy and free enterprise at the local level.

While in Iowa City, the delegates will have the opportunity to work closely with UI students, professors and staff interested in making connections with these international writers. The delegates will also explore the rich literary traditions of the UI and its surrounding communities to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of the American creative and cultural sphere.

The two-week program is designed to facilitate an open and ongoing dialogue between the Russian and American participants, allowing them to share artistic and professional concerns both now and into the future.

In addition to the public events the delegates will:

-- meet with current students in the Master of Fine Arts Translation Program to discuss methods and challenges of translating their work into English;

-- attend various readings throughout Iowa City that will provide writers with unique exposure to a diversified group of established and emerging talent; and

-- explore Iowa City's surrounding areas and travel to Chicago, attending a range of literary events at local universities. Time for tourism will be made available so delegates can experience the city's many distinctive neighborhoods, museums and world-renowned music and performance venues.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress that builds mutual understanding between the emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts. It also exposes delegates to ideas and practices they can adapt for use in their own work.

Founded in 1999 with a focus on Russia, the program has also in recent years hosted delegations from Lithuania, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Delegates range from mayors to journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business owners, and from political activists to high-court judges. More than 10,500 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states.

For more information about the UI activities, contact Hugh Ferrer at 319-335-0128,, or George Felcyn at 202-466-6210.  For more information on Open World, visit

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

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,