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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 15, 2006

Mississippi River Subject Of Nov. 29 'Live From Prairie Lights' Reading

Katherine Fischer, a faculty member at Clarke College in Dubuque and a consultant to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, will read from "Dreaming the Mississippi" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910.

The "Live from Prairie Lights" reading, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, will originate in a free event in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Fischer describes how the river's natural and human histories overlap and interweave as she tells of her own gradual immersion in its life -- which led her to buy a house so close to its banks that each spring she must open her basement doors to accept its inevitable floods.

Recently she presented "Connecting Lives and Literature: Rivers, a Moving Sense of Place" at the International Conference on Rivers and Civilization.

Dan McGuiness, director of the Audubon Mississippi River Program, commented, "Readers will find here an uncharacteristically frank account not only of the condition of the Mississippi River, but of Fischer and her family's relationship to it. It is a fresh and refreshing view of life on, in, and near this great goddess of a river, written by a person who, it is clear, is deeply in love with it and with life. I have no trouble identifying with her kinship for its natural and cultural history and heritage, so deeply engrained in those of us who call the banks of the Mississippi River home.

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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; cell: 310-430-1013;