CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 11, 2000
'Voices from the Prairie' to feature UI writers, WSUI broadcast
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Four University of Iowa poets will inaugurate the first
annual Iowa writers celebration, with the public reading "Voices
from the Prairie," 3-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, in front of the Old Capitol
on the UI Pentacrest. Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack will make introductory
UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM, will provide a live broadcast of the event,
which can also be heard through the WSUI website at http://wsui.uiowa.edu.
The poets -- Writers' Workshop faculty member and Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin
Bell; Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Justice, a UI emeritus faculty member;
Writers' Workshop alumna Mary Swander, a faculty member at Iowa State University;
and Iowas best-known farmer poet, UI alumnus Michael Carey -- will also
answer questions from the audience, with moderation by UI English department
faculty member David Hamilton, editor of the Iowa Review.
In case of rain, the event will be moved to the auditorium of Macbride Hall.
"Voices from the Prairie," which will be free and open to the
public, is sponsored by Humanities Iowa, the state affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities, the Iowa Arts Festival, KSUI/WSUI public radio
stations at the UI, the City of Iowa City, the Iowa Arts Council and the Eastern
Iowa Tourism Association.
In association with the event, the City of Iowa City Public Art Program will
unveil the design for a plaque commemorating Marvin Bells literary accomplishments.
It is the first design for the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk, which, when completed,
will consist of bronze sidewalk plaques celebrating the work of important
WSUI has pre-recorded for broadcast the voices of Iowa City school children
reading their award-winning poems, as selected from statewide submissions
sponsored by the Iowa Reading Association, and Michael Carey will conduct
poetry appreciation workshops in several public primary schools earlier in
"Iowa has a strong, if not supreme, literary tradition," said Chris
Rossi, director of Humanities Iowa, "and that tradition, as much as it
has benefited the nation and the world, is overdue for some home-grown recognition.
People take note of the Iowa literary scene and it's not surprising that C-SPAN,
for instance, already is publicizing this event in its international listing
of major book festivals. This year were showcasing poetry but I can
imagine expanding this celebration to other literary forms as well."
Vicki Jennings, executive director of the co-sponsoring Iowa Arts Festival,
says, "Were aiming to provide a quality education and entertainment
supplement to downtown Iowa City activities. By combining the constituencies
of public broadcasting, the public arts and humanities, school teachers and
students and the city and the university, were able to come up with
a wonderfully inclusive public event."
John Monick, director of broadcasting services for the UI, noted the newly
expanded role of WSUI in broadcasting affairs. "Were delighted
to have the opportunity to broadcast such a distinguished group of poets,
not only to WSUI listeners in eastern Iowa, but to the entire state and around
the world on the world wide web."
Rossi added, "Were also pleased that this years event will
serve as a cultural kickoff to weekend activities surrounding the UI-Iowa
State football game. Its not often that sports enthusiasts can get some
poetry with their pigskin."
For more information phone Humanities Iowa at (319) 335-4153 or visit its
For more information on the broadcast, phone WSUI at (319) 335-5730. For UI
arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.