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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 28, 2011

At A Glance

NEW: Biology East, Van Allen Hall reopen after gas leak

The University of Iowa’s Biology Building East and Van Allen Hall were evacuated for about an hour Friday morning when a private contract worker accidentally pierced a natural gas line between the buildings.

No one was injured in the incident, and occupants of the evacuated buildings were able to move temporarily into the Biology Building across Dubuque Street. The buildings were reopened just after 9 a.m.

Construction crews were digging in the ground as part of an electrical service upgrade project for Van Allen Hall when a worker detected the gas, which among other things feeds Bunsen burners used in biology labs. Natural gas service to Biology Building East and possibly portions of Van Allen Hall will be unavailable until repairs are made and the gas line is re-tested.

UI and Iowa City Police, UI Facilities Management, the Iowa City Fire Department and MidAmerican Energy assisted on the scene.


Poets celebrate Elizabeth Bishop birth centennial Feb. 8

Poet Elizabeth Bishop would have been 100 on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, and several poets and poetry lovers will mark the occasion with a free reading from her work at 7 p.m. in Prairie Lights Books. The event will be streamed live and then archived on the University of Iowa's Writing University website,

Readers will include UI Writers' Workshop faculty members James Galvin, Geoffrey Nutter and Emily Wilson; Robyn Schiff, UI director of undergraduate creative writing; Prairie Lights' Jan Weissmiller, Rob Schlegel and Paul Ingram; Washington poet Carol Light; and workshop alumna Dora Malech.

An increasingly celebrated force in contemporary literature, Bishop was U.S. Poet Laureate from 1949-59, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and two Guggenheim fellowships. She was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets in 1964 and served as a chancellor for the organization from 1966 to 1979.

In the last decade of her life she taught at the University of Washington, Harvard University, New York University and MIT.

Her birth centennial is also the occasion of the publication of two definitive collections of her work, "Poems" and "Prose."


'Darwin’s Dangerous Idea' kicks off 'Movies@MNH Evolution Series' Feb. 6

“Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” a film interweaving the drama of Charles Darwin’s life with the key concepts and controversies surrounding the theory of evolution, kicks off the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History’s “Movies@MNH Evolution Series” on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. in the Macbride Hall Auditorium.

The free public film series continues on Feb. 13 and 27, coinciding with International Darwin Day, Feb. 12, honoring Darwin’s birthday.

Subsequent film screenings will feature episodes from the Public Broadcasting System “Evolution” project, an eight-hour television miniseries that travels the world to examine evolutionary science and the profound effect it has had on society and culture. From the genius and torment of Darwin to the scientific revolution that spawned the tree of life, from the power of sex to drive evolutionary change to the importance of mass extinctions in the birth of new species, the “Evolution” series brings this fascinating process to life.

For full series information or more information on the Museum of Natural History call 319-335-0606 or visit the MNH website:


Writers' Workshop faculty members Galvin and Orner read Feb. 11

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty members James Galvin and Peter Orner will present a free reading at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Dey House.

Galvin, an alumnus and long-time faculty member, is the author of the poetry collections "As Is" and "X," and his first four books were collected in "Resurrection Update." His acclaimed memoir "The Meadow" was followed by the novel "Fencing the Sky."

His honors include a "Discovery"/The Nation award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation award, a Lannan Literary Award and Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and NEA fellowships.

Orner, a visiting faculty member, is the author of the novel "The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo," winner of the Bard Fiction Prize and the Virginia Commonwealth First Novel Prize, and the story collection, "Esther Stories," a New York Times "Notable Book" and PEN/Hemingway finalist that was awarded the Rome Prize and the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction.

He was also the editor of "Underground America" and co-editor of "Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives." His new novel, "Love and Shame and Love," will be published later this year.

Learn more at


UI 'Fun and Foolishness' vocal concert Feb. 13 will support hospice

A concert of "Songs of Fun and Foolishness," supported by the University of Iowa Music Therapy Club, will help to support the Iowa City Hospice at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.

Although admission to the concert is free, audience members are encouraged to bring donations from a wish list -- including items for patients, office supplies, and materials for support groups for children and youth -- that is available by emailing

UI School of Music faculty member Katherine Eberle will be joined by pianist Lynn Conway and students from her voice studio in performances of comic songs by Tom Lehrer, Dick Manning, Paul Vance, David Frishberg, Thomas Pasatieri, Irving Cohn, Richard Hundley, Jerry Silverman and Cy Coben, as well as a new piece by UI student composer Megan Keith.


Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Orenstein speaks at UI Feb. 16

Metropolitan Museum of Art drawing and print curator Nadine M. Orenstein, a guest of the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History and the UI Museum of Art, will speak on "Good Humor: Caricature and Satire in the Metropolitan Museum of Art" in a free event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Room 101 of Biology Building East.

Orenstein is in charge of the museum's Dutch, Flemish, and German prints. She has written and lectured extensively on Dutch and Flemish drawings and prints and has authored several books on the subject.

Her exhibitions include "Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints," for which she edited an accompanying book, and "Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch Master (1558-1617): Prints, Drawings and Paintings." She is currently at work on an exhibition of caricatures and satires from the 16th century that will open in September 2011.

She has also been a judge for the Grove Park Annual National Gingerbread House Competition in North Carolina.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.