Is This Censorship?
On Thursday at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. writers from Burma/Myanmar, Pakistan, Panama, Portugal and elsewhere, who are in Iowa City for the International Writing Program fall residency, will team up with librarians for a public discussion on censorship as part of the 2013 Intellectual Freedom Festival.
What does the public lose when a book is removed from shelves? Burmese poet Zeyar Lynn, Pakistani novelist Shandana Minhas, Panamanian poet Lili Mendoza, and Portuguese playwright and multimedia artist Patrícia Portela will offer diverse international perspectives on censorship.
Body copy ragged right: Burma ranks among the 10 most censored countries in the world, while Portugal offers more press freedom than the United States. Writers will engage with the public during a question-and-answer session and offer their unique perspectives on what censorship is and what impact it has on society.
I BAN THIS BOOK BECAUSE …
As part of Banned Books Week, the public will be invited to place labels on library materials, before joining the international writers and Iowa City librarians for the discussion.
In the United States alone, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 5,099 challenges to books for reasons such as “sexually explicit” material, “offensive language,” and “homosexuality” between 2000 and 2009. Of those 1,217 challenges targeted public libraries. In 2012, the top 10 most challenged books in the United States included Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” and E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Banned Poems that Built America
Join the Reading Aloud Group from The Center and Iowa City Public Library staff at noon Thursday as they explore the subject of banned poems.
Documentary Film Screening
Tomi Ungerer, along with his contemporary Maurice Sendak, changed the landscape of children’s literature in the ’50s and ’60s with books adored by children and abhorred by adults. By the 1970s though, Ungerer’s works disappeared from bookstores and libraries when he began illustrating books for adults. Jennifer Burek Pierce, association professor at the UI School of Library and Information Science, will introduce the film “Far Out Isn’t Far Enough — The Tomi Ungerer Story” with a brief history of censorship and children’s literature at 7 p.m. Friday.