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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 2, 2008

Writers from Austria and Cameroon read Sept. 14 in Prairie Lights

Two International Writing Program (IWP) participants whose careers combine fiction writing, poetry and playwriting -- Tarek Eltayeb from Austria and John Nkengasong from Cameroon -- will present a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, in the Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Eltayeb was born in Cairo to Sudanese parents and educated in Austria. He has published five collections of poems, two novels, two short-story collections and a play. His writings in Arabic have been translated into English and several other languages. His awards include the Elias Cannetti Fellowship from the City of Vienna, three Major Project Fellowships for Literature and the International Grand Prize for Poetry at the International Festival Curtea des Arges in Romania.

He studied social and economic sciences at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and is currently a faculty member at the International Management Center/University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria.

Nkengasong has published two novels and a play, and his poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout Africa and in the United States. His weekly columns have appeared in the Post and Cameroon Post newspapers; and he has also written a volume of literary criticism, "W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot: Myths and the Poetics of Modernism."

He is a senior lecturer in English Literary Studies at the University of Yaounde and has been the president of the Anglophone Cameroon Writers' Association.

Both writers are in residence at the UI with the support of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Biographies of all the 2008 IWP writers are accessible at

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

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 Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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), 310-430-1013 (cell),