Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 17, 2007

Sept. 30 reading will feature writers from Bulgaria and New Zealand

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will present a free reading featuring resident writers from Bulgaria and New Zealand at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Poet, fiction writer and translator Aziz Nazmi Shakir-Tash from Bulgaria and novelist and nonfiction writer Penelope Todd from New Zealand will be joined by Jay Vithalani, a graduate student from India in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program.

Shakir-Tash, a member of Bulgaria's Turkish minority, works in Bulgarian, Arabic, Turkish and English both as a scholar and as a writer. He has written three books of poetry and a collection of short stories, and he is also an accomplished translator and editor with more than a dozen translations of poetry and prose to his credit. He participates in the IWP through the support of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Todd writes fiction for youth and adults and also works as an editor in New Zealand's southernmost city, Dunedin. The final installment of her young adult Watermark trilogy was published this year and a memoir is forthcoming in 2008. She is attending the IWP through Creative New Zealand. Visit her website at

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 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 CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),