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University of Iowa News Release


April 4, 2008

UI Museum of Art Writer-in-Residence will read April 17

The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present a reading by Amelia Bird, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17. Joe Blair, an alumnus of the Nonfiction Writing Program, will also read at the event.

Prior to the reading by Bird and Blair, contributors to the UI undergraduate literary magazine "earthwords" will read from the latest issue of the magazine. That reading will begin at 6 p.m.

Both readings are open to the public free of charge.

Bird spent her formative years in the cypress swamps and brackish mangrove swamps of North Florida's lake region. Prior to entering the UI Nonfiction Writing Program, she was the assistant editor of The Country Chronicle, an independent newspaper in North Florida.

Blair is a graduate of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and has recently completed a novel, "Jimmy Twice." His work has appeared on the radio, in a number of magazines and newspapers, and he currently has work forthcoming in an anthology of essays edited by Venise Barry, "Beyond Belief."

The 7:30 p.m. reading is part of the Writer-in-Residence Program established in fall 2006 by the UI Museum of Art (UIMA). Four Master of Fine Arts candidates in nonfiction writing were selected by the faculty to receive an honorarium provided by the museum. Each student spends three months at the museum working on various writing projects, including an art-based essay.

The writers read from their work on four evenings through the academic year, sharing the program with established writers from the faculty or guests of the UI's famed writing programs.

Graduate student writers at the UIMA are sponsored for 2008 by Mary K. Calkin.

The Nonfiction Writing Program is part of the Department of English in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Part of the Writing University at the UI, they have a Web page at

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit

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: Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),