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CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: July 2, 1999

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

ROSSINI READS JULY 13 -- Poet Clare Rossini, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her Akron Poetry Prize-winning volume, "Winter Morning With Crow," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 13 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

In selecting Rossini's book for the 1996 Akron prize, former UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Donald Justice wrote, "What a bright, engaging, lively intelligence is at play here! In these days of noisy promotion, the quietly self-assured poems of 'Winter Morning with Crow' would seem familiar only if they were louder and more demonstrative, if they had some sort of platform to run on, if they cultivated the grotesque or the fashionably bizarre.

"But Clare Rossini seems mostly to love the world without sounding particularly foolish about it. Her best poems may be the ones in which she addresses trees and birds as friendly equals. These poems are, finally, models of that sort of eloquence which comes mainly from a steady precision of language and observation. Which is never easy."

Poet Carol Muske wrote, "In 'Winter Morning with Crow,' it is Clare Rossini's consciousness -- attentive, prescient, inspired -- that makes her miraculous art, makes a poetry so pure and spare, so free of artifice or contrivance, that it seems to reinvent the page. This is poetry that restores to us something we have lost. It returns beauty, and faith in beauty, then reminds us (as the great painters remind us) that we are not meant to possess it -- or the objects of our love."

Rossini is a faculty member of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She is the winner of a Bush Fellowship and a grant from the Minnesota Arts Council.

The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series originating on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. The program is heard on WSUI in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area and WOI AM 640 in the Ames/Des Moines area.

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WOLF READS JULY 15 -- Iowa writer, editor, publisher and writing teacher Robert Wolf will read from "American Mosaic," his collection of writings by ordinary small-town residents, at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 15 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series originating on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. The program is heard on WSUI in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area and WOI AM 640 in the Ames/Des Moines area.

A former columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Wolf moved in 1991 from Tennessee to a farm near Lansing, Iowa, where he is the executive director of the Free River Press. His bleak depiction of dying rural America, expressed in six editorials on public radio, won a Bronze Medal for radio editorial/commentary from the Society of Professional Journalists.

To document this vanishing aspect of American life and mythology, Wolf began to conduct Free River Press writing workshops, culminating in "American Mosaic" -- a collection of essays, short stories, poems and memoirs woven together with Wolf's introductory notes.

The publisher, Oxford University Press, explains, "The volume includes work from homeless men and women from Tennessee, small farmers in rural Iowa, residents of Midwestern small towns, the Mississippi Delta, and river communities on the Mississippi. These first-person, eyewitness accounts offer glimpses of daily life: the farmers' struggles against large corporations; poetic meditations on life in the streets, on the road, and in prison; tall tales of river town saloons; and the social rituals of cooking, town hall and party phone lines across America's small towns."

Studs Turkel commented, "Bob Wolf's approach to oral history is unique in capturing the visions, dreams, and fears of small farmers today. His work is more than a lament; it is a battle cry."