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Release: Immediate

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass will read April 8

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass will read from his work at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 8 in Shambaugh Auditorium on the campus of the University of Iowa in downtown Iowa City. The reading, which is sponsored by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Snodgrass is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is credited with being one of the founders of the "confessional" school of poetry, practiced also by Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and John Berryman.

The combination of the traditional and the confessional in Snodgrass' poetry prompted Thomas Lask to write in the New York Times, upon publication of the poet's first collection, "Heart's Needle": "It is one of the few books that successfully bridges the directness of contemporary free verse with the demands of the academy." This first collection of poetry earned Snodgrass the Pulitzer Prize as well as the assessment by Hayden Carruth: "Snodgrass seems to me by far the best poet to have appeared this decade and probably one of the best of any age now practicing in America."

Critic David McDuff wrote: "Snodgrass is at pains to reveal the repressed, violent feelings that often lurk beneath the seemingly placid surface of everyday life."

Donald Hall wrote of "Heart's Needle": Snodgrass' poetry "is particularly remarkable for its quantity of true feeling. His title poem, twenty pages about a daughter from whom he is separated by divorce, reaches a tremendous power of emotion about an intimate subject. . . . An extraordinary book."

Snodgrass is the author of numerous collections of poetry, which include "The Fuehrer Bunker: The Complete Cycle," "If Birds Build With Your Hair," "Selected Poems, 1957-1987," "The Death of Cock Robin," "After Experience" and "Remains," among others. He also is a literary critic and essayist as well as a noted translator of poetry, prose and songs into English from German and Rumanian.

The poet is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the Academy of American Poets and the Hudson Review. Prizes include the Longview Literary Award, a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Honorary Doctor of Letters from Allegheny College, and many others.