Formal Application Seeks to Designate Iowa City as UNESCO City of Literature

The UNESCO proposal, handcrafted by the UI Center for the Book

In the presence of honored guests UI President Sally Mason, Iowa City mayor Ross Wilburn and representatives from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the International Writing Program and other UI creative writing and literature departments, the University of Iowa unveiled its formal application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to designate Iowa City the world's second City of Literature.

After its unveiling, the proposal -- a beautiful boxed volume of hand-made paper and original calligraphy, designed and created by the UI Center for the Book -- was shipped to the UNESCO office in Paris for final consideration early Wednesday evening. If the proposal is accepted, Iowa City will join Edinburgh, Scotland, as a UNESCO City of Literature and will become part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, established as an official international literary center.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network seeks to honor and connect cultural centers for cinema, music, crafts and folk arts, design, media arts, as well as literature. Other cities in the network are Aswan, Egypt; Sante Fe, N.M.; Berlin, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; Bologna, Italy; and Seville, Spain.

UNESCO City of Literature Proposal

View the proposal >>
Application for Iowa City, Iowa, USA to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network

The Daily Iowan >>
Lit City writes to world

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Iowa City wants to be world's second `City of Literature'

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UI, Iowa City unveil formal UNESCO City of Literature proposal