Second Life Readings Presented by the UI Grad College and IWP

Alice Pung is nearly 10,000 miles away from home as an International Writing Program participant at the University of Iowa.

But through Second Life (a 3-D virtual world where users can socialize, customize an avatar, connect and create using free voice and text chats) friends and family in her native Melbourne, Australia, had the opportunity to hear her read from her memoir, "Unpolished Gem" on Oct. 21.

Students in the UI's School of Library of Information Science (SLIS) graduate program developed avatars -- characters that you can personalize and use when interacting with friends online -- for themselves and the writers, and coordinated the readings with the avatars at the main library.

SLIS students will be hosting another Second Life presentation at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, with IWP participants Yasser Abdel Latif of Egypt and Maxine Case of South Africa reading from their work. Representatives of the UI's Virtual Writing University are helping produce the events.
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