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Welcoming America: Reading & Reception at MERGE

  • MERGE 136 South Dubuque Street Iowa City, IA, 52240 United States (map)

When: Tuesday, Sunday 18th, 5:00pm-6:30pm (reading begins at 5:30pm)

Where: MERGE, 136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240

Cost: Free

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As part of International Welcoming Week Iowa City, join us for a reading of stories written by immigrants and first generation Iowans in the recently published collection, We the Interwoven: An Anthology of Bicultural Iowa as well as a reception and exhibition of artwork from visual artist Maegan Tyrell’s “Photovoice Project.”


About the Book: "Featuring stories by Mexican-American Chuy Renteria, Azerbaijani-America Sadagat Aliyeva, and Filipino-American Melissa Palma, We The Interwoven brings us the stories of three Americans-- three Iowans-- whose families have found home in the heartland over the past two generations. These stories reflect who they were, who they are, and who they hope to become with the help of Iowa's fields of opportunity. While the American Dream may bring to mind the quintessential white picket fence, the American experience is as unique as it is diverse."

In addition to the reading, author Chuy Renteria and editor Andrea Wilson will take questions from the audience in a Q&A about the immigrant experience, building empathy, and why it’s more important than ever for us to share our stories of living together cross-culturally. The book will be available on site for purchase and also at Prairie Lights Bookstore. 


About the Art: Maegan Tyrell is a senior at The University of Iowa that will graduate in May 2019 with a BA degree in Health and Human Physiology on the Health Promotion Track, a Global Health Certificate, and a German Minor.

Under the guidance of her faculty supervisor Dr. Dina Garcia, Maegan developed a project to examine the accessibility and availability of food among refugee women in the Iowa City area. This project specifically used the photovoice method where participants were given a digital camera and instructed to take photographs based on prompts related to nutrition. 

The research project was conducted throughout the summer of 2018 at IC Compassion, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage culturally diverse communities together through hope, opportunities and partnerships. 

Earlier Event: September 12
Witching Hour 2018 Fundraiser
Later Event: September 23
The Path to Publishing