CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: May 28, 1999
American Academy of Arts and Sciences taps UI poet
Jorie Graham for membership
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jorie Graham, head of the poetry program
in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, has been elected to membership
in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Graham was recently inducted into the prestigious organization
with 17 other artists in literature and the fine arts, including humorist
Garrison Keillor, film director Robert Altman, ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov,
director Mike Nichols and actress Meryl Streep.
Graham won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for "The Dream of
the Unified Field," the Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous other
awards, and she has also been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly
know as the "genius grant."
Her books include "The Errancy," "Materialism," "Region
of Unlikeness," "The End of Beauty" and "Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts."
Graham's poetry has been widely anthologized. Her poems have appeared in publications
that include The New Yorker, the Paris Review, Grand Street, the New York
Review of Books, the Harvard Review, Ploughshares and Antaeus.
The New York Times Book Review asserts that Graham "develops
a genius for apprehending and scrutinizing human perceptions, reflections
and desires. . . . Graham's poetry is among the most sensuously embodied and
imaginative writing we have." She is a chancellor of the Academy of American
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an honorary
society that recognizes achievement in the natural sciences, social sciences,
arts and humanities, and conducts a varied program of projects and studies
responsive to the needs and problems of society.
The academy was founded during the American Revolution
by John Adams and other individuals who contributed prominently to the philosophical
foundations of the new nation and to the establishment of its government and
The academy's 3,300 elected members represent distinction
and achievement in the entire range of the intellectual disciplines and professions.
Among its members are 168 Nobel Prize laureates and nearly 60 Pulitzer Prize
Graham is the second member of the current Writers' Workshop
faculty to be honored by academy membership, joining fellow Pulitzer and MacArthur
winner James Alan McPherson.