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University of Iowa News Release

June 29, 2006

UI Alumnae Highlight July 10-13 WSUI Readings

Readings by University of Iowa writing alumnae Paula Morris (photo, left) , Ann Bauer and Hope Edelman will highlight the July 10-13 broadcasts on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI-AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

The week's readings, which will originate in free events hosted by Julie Englander at 7 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, will be:

--Morris, reading from her second novel, "Hibiscus Coast," set in the underworld of art forgery, on Monday, July 10.

--Bauer, reading from her novel "A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards" on Tuesday, July 11.

--Edelman, reading from "Motherless Mothers" on Wednesday, July 12

--Carleton College poets Greg Hewett and Ted Mathys, reading from their new books on Thursday, July 13.

New Zealand native Paula Morris, who is of Ngati Wai and English descent, is a 2004 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, which she attended as the first Glenn Schaeffer New Zealand Fellow. Her debut novel, "Queen of Beauty," won the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book of Fiction at the 2003 Montana Book Awards. She is back at the UI to teach in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

Critic Linda Wevers wrote of "Hibiscus Coast," "not only is Morris a seriously good writer -- the tone doesn't jar, the characters are satisfyingly complex, and there is an interesting reflection of the way we are now -- she can also deliver entertainment. . . there is plenty of excitement, but that's not what kept me turning the pages. Morris has a nose for our times. Like Dickens, she can tell a great story but also 'catch' the world we live in, with all its complications and ambiguities."

Ann Bauer is a graduate of the UI Non-Fiction Writing Program, and "A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards" tells the story of a family raising a special child. Garrison Keillor noted, "Any parent of an odd or troubled kid will know the shape of the terrain from the first page to the end."

And Writers' Workshop faculty member Chris Offutt wrote, "Ann Bauer has written a beautiful book about a very difficult situation -- a child who is different from the rest. Her voice is sincere and honest, her prose lyric, and her story unforgettable."

Non-fiction Writing Program alumna Hope Edelman has also returned to teach in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Her first book, "Motherless Daughters," was a national bestseller, and she expands on the issues she addressed there in "Motherless Mothers: How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become."

A review in Publishers Weekly explained, "Edelman first undertook this painful topic in 1994 ('Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss'), drawing from her own experience of losing her mother at 17. Now a mother herself, she considers how her mother's absence has shaped her seven years of parenting. Through interviews, anecdotes and psychological research, Edelman discusses the challenge of mothering in the shadow of someone gone, which often triggers a resurgence of childhood grief and confusion.

"But this is less a book on mourning than a supportive guide for mothers who may feel overwhelmed and alone, bereft of their own mothers' presence, advice and support ... . Edelman's voice, suffused with fierce maternal love, joins the candid recollections from motherless mothers of all ages and backgrounds. She presents emotionally charged concepts in clear, memorable terms to encourage frank, cathartic discussion."

On July 13, Carleton faculty member Greg Hewett will read from "The Eros Conspiracy," and Carleton alumnus Ted Mathys will read from "Forge."

UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Cole Swensen called Hewett's book a "love story that winds up being profoundly political in the most personal of ways." Hewett is the author of "To Collect the Flesh" and "Red Suburb," which was a BookSense Poetry Top Ten selection, Publishing Triangle Award winner and Minnesota Book Award finalist.

Mathys has taught English in Hong Kong and worked for the U.S. State Department in Berlin. A 2005 National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellow, he has published poems in journals including Fence, the Colorado Review, Ploughshares and Verse.

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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,