Wednesday, December 18, 2013

City of Literature

Until recently, I never there was such a thing as a City of Literature. Did you? 

I learned from Wikipedia the following information about what a City of Literature is as follows:
UNESCO's City of Literature program is part of its Creative Cities Network which was launched in 2004.[1] The Network was born out of UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity initiative which was created in 2002. Its aim is to "promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world."[1] The cities in network promote their local creative scene and conform to UNESCO’s goal of fostering cultural diversity.
Since 2004, seven cities around the world have been designated as a City of Literature. The only city in the United States to be designated a City of Literature is Iowa City, Iowa!! I'm particularly thrilled to discover that Iowa City, Iowa was designated a City of Literature in 2008, because the University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa and the University of Iowa is my Alma Mater. 

I have such fond memories of Iowa City and attending the University of Iowa that I will always cherish. The University of Iowa has a long, rich and diverse history including its literary history! I discovered a wonderful article spotlighted on the University of Iowa's News Release page titled UNESCO designates Iowa City as the world's third City of Literature. Read the information from this article as follows:
* Writers' Workshop: As the home of the highly acclaimed Iowa Writers' Workshop -- the world's first Master of Fine Arts degree program in creative writing -- Iowa City and the University of Iowa have played a substantial role in how literature, first in America and then around the world, has come to be written. The MFA degree workshop concept has spread to more than 300 American universities and to universities in numerous other countries.

* Famous Authors: Since 1955 graduates and faculty of the University of Iowa have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes in literature. Authors who have lived, taught and studied in the city include Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell, Flannery O'Connor, Rita Dove, Jane Smiley, Robert Hass and John Irving.

* City Libraries: In 2006, for a population of 63,027, there were 63,713 public library patrons; borrowers as a percentage of population reached 101 percent. (The figure includes residents of neighboring areas arrogating borrowing privileges for their work in Iowa City.) The university's research library is the 18th largest of its kind in the country; its holdings include special literary collections and hundreds of thousands of rare books; and it is the location of many literature-related exhibitions.

Click on above link to read the UNESCO designates Iowa City as the world's third City of Literature in its entirety.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

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