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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 30, 2008

'Live from Prairie Lights' celebrates Darwin Day Feb. 14

"Live from Prairie Lights" will join with the University of Iowa Department of Biological Sciences to celebrate Darwin Day with a reading from "Denying Evolution" by evolutionary biologist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The event will be one of four free, 7 p.m. "Live from Prairie Lights" readings that week in the bookstore. The other readings will be:

--Natalie Goldberg reading from "Old Friend Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir" on Tuesday, Feb. 12;

--Knox College faculty member Robert Hellenga reading from "The Italian Lover," his new novel, on Wednesday, Feb. 13; and

--poet Andrea Hollander Budy reading from "Woman in the Painting" on Friday, Feb. 15.

Listen to each of the readings live via the Writing University Web site at The events will also be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI-AM 910.

Hour-long Iowa Public Radio "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City, WOI-AM 640 in Ames and KRNI-AM 1010 in Cedar Falls.

Writer Steve Almond called Goldberg's book "A celebration of the memoir form ... an impassioned call to write, delivered by an author who knows how to zero in on the truth, and lead others there as well. If you're serious about finding that voice inside yourself, Natalie Goldberg is a teacher you have to meet."

Goldberg is also the author of "The Great Failure," "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within" and "Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World." She collaborated with filmmaker Mary Feidt on "Tangled Up in Bob; Searching for Bob Dylan."

A Publishers Weekly review of "The Italian Lover" commented: "Hellenga reprises protagonist Margot Harrington from 'The Sixteen Pleasures' (1995) in his latest, a romantic comedy about the book-to-film adaptation of Margot's memoir.

"Elegant in its colorful use of Italian phrases, cuisine and sites, Hellenga's complex novel offers a vivid, often sophisticated view of modern Florence."

Pigliucci, author of "Phenotypic Plasticity" and "Tales of the Rational," and the co-author of "Making Sense of Evolution," "Phenotypic Evolution" and "Phenotypic Integration," is represented on the Web by He is a professor of both philosophy and ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University in New York.

Budy is the writer-in-residence at Lyon College, where she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Her other full-length poetry collections are "The Other Life" and "House Without a Dreamer," which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize.

Her other awards include the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize for memoir, the Runes Poetry Prize, the Ellipsis Poetry Award, the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence, the WORDS Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan Writers' Conferences.

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: Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),