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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 6, 2007

Indonesian poetry editor visits Nov. 7-10 to explore creative expression

Muhammad Hasif Amini, an Indonesian poetry editor, will visit the Iowa City community Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 10, to meet with members of the University of Iowa literary community. The visit is sponsored by the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, as part of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program.

"Mr. Amini will hear poetry by people of all ages, and he will see how writing is taught, read, published and immortalized in bronze and cement, and how the Iowa landscape nurtures the creative spirit," said Jean Lloyd-Jones volunteer and CIVIC president.

Amini will meet with Holly Carver, director of UI Press, on Thursday, Nov. 8. "His visit with Holly Carver is especially appropriate because of the recent publication of poems of the prisoners in Guantanamo," Lloyd-Jones said. "One of the goals of the State Department for this project is to provide an overview of the significance of freedom of speech and creative expression in the arts and media in a democracy."

After his meeting with Carver, Amini will spend the rest of the morning and part of the early afternoon meeting with Iowa City City High School's creative writing and newspaper classes. Later he will meet with Christopher Merrill, director of the UI International Writing Program at Shambaugh House, followed by a book launch and reading with Peter Nazareth and IWP alumnus Kirpal Singh from Singapore, also at the Shambaugh House.

On Friday, Nov. 9, Amini will have lunch at the local iconic restaurant, Hamburg Inn #2, 214 N. Linn St. He will also have the opportunity to experience some Iowa home hospitality and visit a local farm.

Amini is a poetry editor for Indonesia's leading daily newspaper, "Kompas," which carries a full page of work by established and upcoming writers in each Sunday edition. He also writes a weekly column for the paper. In addition, Amini is a literary curator and journal editor at Komunitas Utan Kayu, an arts and media organization. He has also co-edited, translated and contributed to many publications, including "Selected Poems" by Sitok Srengenge.

CIVIC is one of two organizations in Iowa that support the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, and is a community organization of volunteers serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis.

For a more detailed itinerary of Amini's visit or to volunteer, call the CIVIC office at 319-335-0351, located in 1111 University Capitol Centre in downtown Iowa City.

CIVIC is part of University of Iowa International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

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

NOTE TO EDITORS: Reporters and photographers are invited to attend any of Amini's activities listed in this news release, including the classes at City High School. To arrange to attend these events, or if you would like to interview Amini, call the CIVIC office at 319-335-0351. Amini speaks Indonesian and English.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom Baldridge or Marianne Weiss, CIVIC, 319-335-0351,,; Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Stacie Carpenter