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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 1, 2006

IWP Participants From Uruguay And Germany Will Read Sept. 17

Uruguayan poet and fiction writer Rafael Courtoisie (photo, left) and German fiction writer Thomas Pletzinger, now in residence with the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be joined by UI post-graduate writing fellow Mia Nussbaum in a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Courtoisie is one of Uruguay's leading writers, with work published in the United States, Latin America and Europe. The author of three novels and 16 volumes of poetry, and a prolific essayist, he has won both his country's National Prize in Narrative for the novel "A Dog's Life" (1997) and the National Prize in Poetry for his 2002 collection, "Frontiers of Umbria." He also teaches screenwriting at the Escuela de Cine del Uruguay in Montevideo. His participation in the IWP was made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Pletzinger, who lays claim to being both the youngest and the tallest of the 2006 IWP group, has worked and studied in Hamburg, Leipzig and New York. His stories and poems have appeared in magazines including BELLAtriste, EDIT and sprachgebunden. The short story "Bruck on the Floor Sings as Quietly as Monk Plays" won him the 2006 MDR-Literature-Prize. "A Dog's Funeral," his first novel, is scheduled for publication in 2007. He is in residency at the IWP through the support of the Max Kade Foundation.

Nussbaum, a recent graduate of the UI Non-Fiction Writing Program is an IWP program assistant and an editorial assistant for the Iowa Review. Before coming to the UI she taught high school literature and worked for Harper's Magazine in New York City. A native of Colorado, she has also lived in Namibia and India. Her poetry and prose have appeared periodicals including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Commonweal Magazine, the Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Notre Dame Magazine, Salamander, Sign of Peace and BustedHalo.com.

Courtoisie and Pletzinger are among the 29 writers, representing 22 countries, in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies of all the writers are accessible on the IWP website, www.uiowa.edu/~iwp.

This year's roster of well-established poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, translators, editors, essayists, journalists, playwrights and literary critics includes writers from current news hot spots including Sri Lanka, Palestine and Iraq. All the world's populated continents are represented.

The IWP -- a unique program that has been described as "The United Nations of Writing" -- introduces talented writers to American life; enables them to take part in American university life; and provides them with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more than a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP.

The evolving calendar of events is accessible at www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa and on the IWP site. These calendars will be updated regularly as new events are added.

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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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: 319-430-1013; winston-barclay@uiowa.edu

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