UI Playwright Aspengren Among Honorees in Oct 1 Dedication
September 27, 2011
(from various news sources)
University of Iowa playwrights Kate Aspengren and Rebecca Gilman have been added to the recent expansion of Iowa City’s Literary Walk, which will be dedicated on Saturday, October 1 as part of Northside Oktoberfest. The $70,000 Literary Walk expansion project is supported by a grant from Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
Aspengren is a UI Theatre Arts adjunct faculty member in playwriting. She is a UI alum (’94 MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop) and currently teaches playwriting at UI’s Department of Theatre Arts and is co-director of UI Theatres’ annual Ten-Minute Play Festival. Gilman earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa.
The first portion of the Literary Walk is along Iowa Avenue in downtown Iowa City and was completed in 2001. Quotes from 20 of the newly-added authors have been cast into bronze and placed on public walkways in the north side of town. Names of the remaining authors have been placed on the spines of books piled up on pedestals as part of the Northside Marketplace Literary Walk. Words from Gilman’s play Spinning Into Butter are cast in bronze along the walk, and Aspengren’s name appears on one of the pedestal book spines.
The expansion was completed along with $450,000 in sidewalk and street improvements, as well as new benches and other amenities. To kick-off Northside Oktoberfest, Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek will dedicate the new Literary Walk expansion at 10am on Saturday, October 1 along Linn Street at the intersection of Market Street. Readings by some of the authors will occur throughout the Oktoberfest event, which runs from 10am to 8pm.
More than 200 writers were nominated for consideration and a selection committee trimmed the list down to 40. All of the selected authors have some connection to Iowa — many of them went to the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. Some are still located in Eastern Iowa.