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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: April 13, 2001

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

MEAD READS APRIL 23 -- Poet Jane Mead, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her second collection, "House of Poured-Out Waters," at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23 at the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

"Jane Mead proves herself to be an exceedingly lucent and thought-provoking poet," the Gettysburg Review's Dorothy Barresi wrote in praise of "House of Poured-Out Waters."

A Booklist review commented, "Mead's first collection . . . earned her a Whiting Writer's Award. (House of Poured-Out Waters), an even more powerful work, is infused with pale light and pearly pain even as it pulses with chiming word repetitions and syncopated rhythms. Lithe and spare, Mead's poems move across the secretive white of the page like cat tracks on snow. Some are whispered prayers, lunar and full of shadows. Others express anger, sorrow, and bursts of sarcasm or metaphysical playfulness."

Currently poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University, Mead is also the author of "The Lord and the General Din of the World," which was selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning UI alumnus Philip Levine as the 1995 winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry.

Her poems have appeared in the Chicago Review, the Colorado Review, the Indiana Review, Shenandoah and the American Poetry Review.

"Mead combines flinty honesty with an organic intellect," a Publishers Weekly review wrote in a review of "The Lord and the General Din of the World." "She employs taut, colloquial language and firmly places her personal history against a searching, almost existential understanding of the world. . . (She) pinpoints, and gives form to, tenuous, seemingly nameless emotions. . . .That precision gives her poetry, though often spawned of rough subject-matter (addiction, abuse, suicide, and profound isolation), the power of expertly cut gems."

For more information about this event, call Prairie Lights at 337-2681.

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UI WRITERS' WORKSHOP STUDENT SKINNER READS APRIL 25 -- Fiction writer Jose Skinner, a graduate student in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- which is part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Skinner's debut short-story collection, "Flight and Other Stories," was recently released in paperback by the University of Nevada Press.

A Publishers Weekly review commented, "Jose Skinner's 'Flight and Other Stories' is a varied, well-crafted and frequently daring collection of vignettes centering mostly around the complex interplay between whites and Latinos in the American Southwest. . . The characters are complex and fully realized, and Skinner's voice is confident yet nuanced throughout."

A review in the American Library Association's Booklist added, "Fourteen realistic stories about Latinos in the American Southwest bring us up close to a great variety of people and places and the distances between them. Whether new immigrants or mainstream Anglos, the young characters are caught between worlds, unable to understand the language."

Writers' Workshop faculty member Chris Offutt called the book, "a bold and brilliant debut, uncompromising in its vision, written with honesty and compassion. I loved this book."

Skinner has worked as a courtroom interpreter and translator for the judicial system of the state of New Mexico. His stories have been widely published, and several stories in "Flight and Other Stories" have received critical kudos, including a recent Frontera Literary Review award. He was recently the judge for the Mark Twain Award for Fiction, presented by the Red Rock Review.

For more information about this event, call Prairie Lights at 337-2681.

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MARQUART READS APRIL 27 -- Author Debra Marquart will read from her first collection of short fiction, "The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories," at 8 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Now an assistant professor of English at Iowa State University, Marquart was a touring musician for seven years, and her new book grew out of that experience. She is also the author of a book of poetry, "Everything's a Verb." Her work has appeared in the North American Review, the Threepenny Review, New Letters, River City, the Southern Poetry Review, the Sun and Witness.

". . . Marquart knows her characters and their world inside out, and musicians will find much to identify with in her stories," a Publishers Weekly review said of "The Hunger Bone."

For more information about this event, call Prairie Lights at 337-2681.

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JAZZ LAB BAND PLAYS APRIL 28 -- The Jazz Lab Band from the University of Iowa School of Music will perform the music of composer/bandleaders Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus on a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be under the direction of UI adjunct faculty member Brent Sandy.

The Lab Jazz Band is a student ensemble featuring instrumentation of the swing band and big band eras. The group's repertory combines classic works from the jazz stars of the 1920s through the '40s with contemporary big band charts and arrangements representing the works of diverse artists.

The Lab Band will perform three Ellington pieces. Two pieces, "Cottontail" and "In a Mellow Tone," are transcriptions from the 1940s era of the Ellington Orchestra. The third piece was written by Ellington but performed in a New Orleans "second line" style by the Dirty Dozen Brass

Band and subsequently transcribed and arranged by Robert Washut, the director of jazz studies at the University of Northern Iowa.

The two Mingus pieces on the program will be "My Jelly Roll Soul," a tongue-in-cheek musical biography of New Orleans jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton, and "Better Git Hit In Your Soul," an earthy gospel piece.

To complete the program, Count Basie is represented by a Quincy Jones composition called "Pleasingly Plump," Stan Kenton by a Dee Barton arrangement of "Here's That Rainy Day" featuring the trombone section, and Toshiko Akioshi by a slow blues called "I Ain't Gonna Ask
no More."

Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty this past fall, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performer, teacher and clinician. After receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, he traveled nationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other bands. He has performed and recorded with groups ranging from Latin bands to small combos and with a wide variety of jazz artists.

Sandy performs regularly with local jazz groups including the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, the OddBar Trio, Chris Merz and the Xtet and Nine Easy Pieces. As a member of the Orquesta Alto Maiz he has made five CDs, toured Europe in 1998 and been featured on "Jazzset with Branford Marsalis" on National Public Radio. He is an educational specialist/clinician with Conn Musical Instruments, a division of United Musical Instruments, USA, and serves on the board of directors of the Iowa City Jazz Festival.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

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NEW COMPOSITIONS BY UI STUDENTS APRIL 29 -- The Composers' Workshop of the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert of five new works by graduate students in the composition program at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 29 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Composers' Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater co-operation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area. The workshop is directed by David Gompper, professor of music in the Theory and Composition Department of the School of Music and director of the Center for New Music.

Works on the April 29 concert will be:

-- "Frame_Mask" for flute and cello by Erin Gee;

-- "Field Study" for solo piano by Michael Cash;

-- "Into the Void" (computer-generated sound) by Christopher Brakel;

-- "Alle deine Siegel erbrochen? Nie" (All of your seals broken? Never) for violin and
14 instruments by Albin Jones; and

-- "Calm III" for oboe and piano by Shinjung Kim.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.