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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 4, 2005

UI, Public Library To Host Discussion On Iowa's Past, Future Dec. 11

The University of Iowa's Iowa Project on Place Studies and the Iowa City Public Library will present a free talk and public discussion, "Iowa to Come: Visions for an Alternative Statehood," at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11 in meeting room A at the library as part of the Irving B. Weber Chautauqua Series.

Iowa author and scholar Zachary Michael Jack will speak on what Iowa has to teach the world in the current political and social environment. He will share what he has learned about the future of Iowa while editing the forthcoming collection "Letters to a Young Iowan" from the Ice Cube Press and in previous Iowa arts outreach efforts, including the founding and directing of the Iowa School for Lost Arts. Jack said he advocates "an alternative statehood more reminiscent of Iowa's past, perhaps, than its conventionally imagined future. Only a bold and innovative reclamation of Iowa's old times can fully illuminate the state's future."

A graduate of Iowa City High School and an alumnus of Iowa State University, Jack was raised on the Mechanicsville, Iowa Heritage Farm his family settled before the Civil War. He is the author of two Midwestern-centered books of poems, "The Inanity of Music and Wings" and "Perfectly Against the Sun," and the editor of two collections of agricultural essays, both nominated for the Theodore Salotous Award for the year's best book in agricultural history: "Black Earth and Ivory Tower: New American Essays from Farm and Classroom" and "The Furrow and Us: Essays on Soil and Sentiment." Jack's writing residencies have taken him to Ireland's Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Mexico's Great River Arts Institute, and New York's Blue Mountain Center. Jack now works as an assistant professor of English at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

Lolly Eggers, former Iowa City Public Library director and author of the new "Iowa City's Irving Weber: A Biography" will also present a short tribute to Willis Weber, Irving's son, who passed away on Nov. 1.

Thomas Dean, an adjunct assistant professor of literature, science and the arts, and special assistant to Interim President Gary Fethke, said the Irving B. Weber Chautauqua Series was started as a way to honor Iowa City's celebrated historian year-round. The series includes three events each year, one in December near Weber's birthday, one during the annual spring Irving B. Weber Days festival, and one in the summer or early fall. Dean said Weber was not only Iowa City's official historian but an indelible part of the city's history.

The Iowa Project on Place Studies is an interdisciplinary group of UI faculty and staff that studies the concept of place and its manifestations worldwide and fosters collaborative projects with local, state and regional communities.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Thomas Dean in advance at 319-335-1995.

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,; Program: Thomas Dean, 319-335-1995,