The University of Iowa

Writer and Human Rights Advocate Maureen Freely 2014 Ida Beam Visiting Professor

Iowa City, IOWA—From September 23 to 27, writer, translator, and human rights advocate, Professor Maureen Freely will engage with the University of Iowa community as a 2014 Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. 

Freely teaches English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, where she has been instrumental in shaping the pedagogies of Creative Writing as a field. Since March this year she is also the President of English PEN, with which she has worked, over the past 15 years, on issues of freedom of expression in Turkey, speaking out on behalf of imprisoned writers and censored journalists. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, Freely will be reading from her literary work at Prairie Lights. She is the author of seven novels, including Mother’s Helper, The Life of the Party, and most recently, Sailing through Byzantium, which made the Sunday Times Book of the Year list in 2013. 

While in Iowa City, Freely will also visit a variety of undergraduate courses at the University of Iowa. 


• Tuesday, Sept. 23, 5:00 pm: Freely will read from her work at Prairie Lights (15 South Dubuque St.)

• Friday, Sept. 26, 7:00 pm: “The Right to Write”: Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom Festival Talk in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library (123 South Linn St.)

Freely is traveling to Iowa City as a guest of the International Writing Program, with support from the University of Iowa’s MFA in Literary Translation, the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Gender, Women’s and Sexualities Studies Program. 

The Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program was established in 1978-79 with the income from a bequest to the university by the late Ida Cordelia Beam of Vinton, Iowa.