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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 15, 2008

Writers from Canada and Cuba read Sept. 28 in Prairie Lights

Fiction writer Madeleine Thien from Canada and Cuban poet, fiction writer and essayist Rogelio Saunders, who lives in Spain, will present a free reading at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in the Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The writers, who are now in residence with the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be joined by a student from a unit of the Writing University.

Saunders began his career in Cuba as a member of a group of alternative writers. He has published poetry and short stories in Cuba and abroad, holding residencies in Austria, Germany and Spain. His most recent publications include a volume of short stories and a poetry collection.

He has lived in Spain since 1999, and his IWP residency is supported by the William B. Quarton Foundation.

Thien, the Canadian-born daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants, was educated at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

Her first book, the short-story collection "Simple Recipes," was named a 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize notable book, and won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Canadian Author's Association/Air Canada Award for the most promising writer under the age of 30.

Thien's first novel, "Certainty," which Booklist described as a "beautifully written debut," won the in Canada First Novel Award and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize. She has also published the children's book "The Chinese Violin."

She is in residence at the IWP through the support of the Quebec Arts Council.

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, Iowa, 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office), 310-430-1013 (cell),