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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 13, 2007

Sept. 28 IWP panel again considers the writer as reader

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will present a free panel discussion on ""The Most Important Book on My Bookshelf: The Writer As Reader" at noon. Friday, Sept. 28, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library at 123 S. Linn St. in downtown Iowa City.

In this second installment on that topic the participating writers will be Khet Mar from Myanmar, Ra Heeduk from South Korea, G. Ayurzana from Mongolia and Al-Mustaqeem M. Rahdi from Malaysia.

Khet, a freelance journalist in Yangon, is one of Myanmar's most active literary voices. She has published a novel, a volume of essays and a collection of short stories with three other women writers. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, was adapted into radio plays, and a story was made into a short film in Japan.

Ra, who received her doctorate in Korean language and literature from Yonsei University in 2006, has written five books of poetry, a collection of essays and a volume of literary criticism. A faculty member of Chosun University in Kwangju, she is participating in the IWP through the support of Arts Council Korea.

Ayurzana, a graduate of the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, has published six books of poetry, two collections of short stories, several nonfiction books and three novels. Twice a winner of the National Literary Award Altan Od (Golden Feather), Ayurzana is attending the IWP through funding from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Radhi has translated four volumes of non-fiction from English and Arabic into Malay, and in 2006 edited the treatise "Islam and Pluralism." He has managed political and economic journals at the Open Dialogue Center and the Institute for Policy Research, and he is now executive director of the Middle Eastern Graduate Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He participates in the IWP through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Biographies of all the IWP writers are accessible at A description of the program and the 2007 residency period is accessible at

The IWP 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 1,100 writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk from Turkey.

This fall the IWP is hosting writers from more than 30 countries through November, including the program's first participants from Malta and Montenegro. The schedule will provide many opportunities for the public to meet and interact with the writers in social events, formal and informal readings, lectures, performances, film screenings and panel discussions.

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

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),