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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 12, 2008

UPDATE: Jeff Porter will read in place of Mary Ruefle.

UI Museum of Art writer-in-residence will read Feb. 21

The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present a reading by Elena Passarello, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Mary Ruefle, a visiting faculty member in the Nonfiction Writing Program, will also read at the event.

Prior to the reading by Passarello and Ruefle, 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.

Passarello has written children's plays, a traveling medicine show, and a drag comedy musical review, as well as essays for Slate, Creative Nonfiction, Ninth Letter, Pittsburgh Magazine and other publications. An actress as well as a writer, she has been a member of the Iowa Summer Rep company. She grew up in South Carolina and Georgia, which gave her a low tolerance for winter and a lot of opinions about barbecue.

Ruefle is the author of 10 books, most recently "Indeed I Was Pleased With The World." Her poems, prose and essays have appeared in many anthologies, and her work has been honored by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Vermont, where she is a professor at Vermont College's Master of Fine Arts program.

The 7:30 p.m. reading is part of the Writer-in-Residence Program established in fall 2006 by the UI Museum of Art. 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.

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, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;