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Release: July 7, 2000

CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

BENZ READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JULY 14 -- Duke University faculty member Maudy Benz will read from her first novel, "Oh Jackie," at 8 p.m. Friday, July 14,in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the
"Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Novelist Lee Smith writes, "Dazzling and disturbing, 'Oh Jackie' introduces a major voice to contemporary writing." And fiction writer Jill McCorkle says that the 15-year-old protagonist of this early-60s loss-of-innocence story is "a survivor, her strength and wisdom growing out of her adoration for First Lady Jackie Kennedy."

Benz is the former fiction editor of b. magazine and a winner of the Nelson Algren Award for her short fiction.

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ROBERT DANA READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JULY 17 -- University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Robert Dana, the recently retired director of the Cornell College Creative Writing Program, will read from "Summer," his new poetry collection, at 8 p.m. Monday,
July 17 in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Edward Brunner wrote of "Summer," "Another poet passing 70 might be ready to call his latest collection 'Winter.' Not Robert Dana, who never seems younger than in this, his eighth book."

Dana's poetry has won several awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University. His previous books include "Hello Stranger," "In a Fugitive Season," "Starting Out for the Difficult World,"
"Yes, Everything" and "What I Think I Know." He edited "A Community of Writers: Paul Engle and the Iowa Writers' Workshop."

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R.M. RYAN READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JULY 18 -- Poet and novelist R.M. Ryan, the author of the poetry collection "Goldilocks in Later Life," will read from his new comic novel, "The Golden Rules," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

In this modern take on the treasure-hunt genre, a third-rate actor seeks his pot of gold in a pink Edsel on the backroads of early '70s Louisiana and Illinois.

A review in Publishers Weekly stated, "In this saucy novel of hijinks on the highway, poet Ryan creates a tapestry of exotic and whimsical characters motivated by greed and longing for a buried treasure of everyone's dreams."

Ryan's work has appeared in publications including the New Republic, the Exquisite Corpse, Yellow Silk and the Denver Quarterly.

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WAYNE JOHNSON READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JULY 20 -- Wayne Johnson, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his novel "Six Crooked Highways" at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 20 in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Connie Fletcher wrote for the American Library Association's Booklist, "In this gritty North Woods mystery, a proposed highway that threatens the Red Lake Band Chippewa reservation, a floater found in a lake, a body found in a sink hole, and a long-ago wrong all converge on Paul Two Persons, forcing him into both investigation and defense, when all he wants is to recover from the murder of his son, shore up his grief-shattered marriage, and run his Minnesota fishing resort. … Two Persons is an able guide to the North Woods landscape and lore that figure in this fast-paced plot, the successor to Johnson's first mystery, 'Don't Think Twice.'"

Kirkus Reviews praised the book for its "vivid portrayals of life on a reservation and of the conflict between a traditional people venerating the natural world and an aggressively technological society exploiting it."

Johnson grew up in the north lakes region of Minnesota and on the White Earth and Red Lake reservations. In addition to attending the UI Writers' Workshop, he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Story and other periodicals, and has been featured in collections including "Prize Stories," and "The Norton Anthology of Literature."