Posted by Vernette Knapp on Apr 02, 2019
Speaker Christopher Merrill-International Writers Program
President Elect Hazel Seaba conducted the meeting beginning at 7:05 am.
Guests: David Johnson-Iowa City Club, Ryan Bell-Iowa City Club, Christopher Merrill-Speaker
Kate Sojka reminded everyone that Trivia night is April 5th.  She encouraged more people to sign up. Mark Patton reported that  Jenny Saylor was the winner of the mini golf tournament. Dan Kramer won the door prize of a hat.  There is a traveling plaque for the winner.  Mark is asking previous winners to get their names to him for the plaque.
May 20, is the Iowa City Community Foundation Golf Tournament. There are many volunteer opportunities.  June 15 is The Bike Ride Fundraiser.
Deb Ockenfels announced that the branding of the cooler at the Crisis Cente that was a grant from Iowa City Downtown club and our club will be around 10:20 at the Crisis Center
Kris Ockenfels announced that all the G.M.S. are over.  Now she waits for the grant applications to come in.
The deadline is June 1,2019.
Deb Galbraith, program director, for April introduced Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program. He led the initiative that resulted in the selection of Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature.  In 2011, he was appointed to the U. S. National Commission for UNESCO. In 2012, he was appointed to the National Council for the Humanities.  He has published  six  collections of Poetry, six non-fiction books, a book on soccer. His work has been translated in to forty languages. His h
onors include knighthood from the French government and many other awards.  As director of the U. Of I. International Writing Program, he has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries.
His presentation today is :  "Only Connect"  the writers of the world to Iowans.
There are 350 Graduate Writing Programs in the world with 14,000 writers.
He has done extensive work in Iraq to help their writers with their programs and connect to the rest of the world. He has also worked with Pakistan and Baghdad.
The International Writing Program is in it's 52nd year.  The writers are here for 11 weeks, consisting of usually 35 writers from around 15 countries.  The writers have over 200 public events, some at Shambaugh House , reading at Prairie Lights and the Libraries.
Walt Whitman 200th Birthday Celebration.
To learn more about Walt Whitman and The International Writing Program go to: