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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 12, 2007

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute To Offer 'The Art Of The Letter'

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Iowa Center on Aging will offer "The Art of the Letter," a four-week course for older adults beginning April 14.

The course will focus on letter writing in its various forms: as correspondence, as love letter or farewell letter, and as letters of instruction or persuasion. The course also will examine letters to the editor, telegrams, e-mails and the work of many uncelebrated letter writers, as well as letters written by Paul of Tarsus, Niccolò Machiavelli, Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Flannery O'Connor, Vincent Van Gogh, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ursula Nordstrom and Malcolm X. Students will read epistolary fiction and poetry, and they will practice their new acquired skills by writing, revising and possibly sending letters.

The course is open to all adults age 50 and older. Each session will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays, April 14, 21 and 28 and March 5 in room 332 of North Hall on the UI campus (online map available at Parking is available in the North Campus Ramp next to North Hall.

The cost is $70, which includes all course materials. Class size is limited to 16 individuals; registration and additional course information is available online at, or contact Linsey Abbott at 319-384-4221 or

The instructor is Mia Nussbaum, a postgraduate writing fellow at the UI, working at the UI International Writing Program. Nussbaum has taught American women's writing at an Indiana YWCA; English in Tamil Nadu, India; literature at an all-girls school in Manhattan; and rhetoric and creative writing at the UI, where she received her master's degree in nonfiction writing in 2006. She also has worked as an editorial assistant at Harper's Magazine. Nussbaum's poetry and prose has appeared in Third Coast, the Mid-American Review, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Commonweal and Salamander, among other publications.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI is a program of the Center on Aging and is affiliated with the national network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, designated and funded by the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco. There are currently 101 Osher institutes in 46 states. For more information, visit

The UI Center on Aging fosters and supports interdisciplinary research, education and service throughout the campus and state to improve understanding of the aging process and the health and well being of older people. For more information, visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI in advance at 319-384-4221.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,